health

What have we learned on getting public services to poor people? What’s next?

Duncan Green - March 24, 2014

Ten years after the World Development Report 2004, the ODI’s Marta Foresti reflects on the past decade and implications for the future Why do so many countries still fail to deliver adequate services to their citizens? And why does this problem persist even in countries with rapid economic growth and relatively robust institutions or policies? This was the problem addressed by the World Bank’s ground-breaking …

Continue reading

What happens if you combine life expectancy and GDP into a single indicator? (You spend more on health)

Duncan Green - January 28, 2014

Just been skimming the overview of last December’s report of the Lancet Global health 2035 Commission, chaired by Larry Summers. The report advocates increasing health spending to close the health gap between countries, but the thing that jumped out at me was the practical application of ‘beyond GDP’ thinking in what the report calls the ‘full income approach’: “But while GDP captures the benefits that …

Continue reading

What’s the the best/worst country in which to feed your family? New Oxfam report.

Duncan Green - January 16, 2014

Oxfam researcher and ace number cruncher Deborah Hardoon introduces its new Good Enough to Eat index. Many of us will have overindulged this festive season. According to the British Diatetics Association, the average Brit puts on half a stone at Christmas. And it is not just Christmas Day itself, ‘the whole festive season is riddled with fat traps’. After Christmas, we end up throwing a …

Continue reading

Day of the Girl (and a small revolution in the birthplace of humanity)

admin - October 11, 2012

Guest post from Carron Basu Ray, (right) who coordinates Oxfam’s ‘My Rights, My Voice’ programme The Ngorongoro area of Tanzania is regarded as the birthplace of humanity, a vast, strikingly beautiful part of the world. The Maasai pastoralists who live there are among the most marginalised people in the country and their children, especially the girls, have little access to quality education. I was in …

Continue reading

Measuring well-being: what can international development learn from the health sector?

admin - June 26, 2012

In this guest post, ODI’s Claire Melamed, Emma  Samman and Laura Kiku Rodriguez-Takeuchi pitch for partners for some work on developing new wellbeing metrics in development. Any takers? What do we think we’re doing when we do ‘development’?  Surely, it has to be about making lives better for people as they themselves experience them. But we know surprisingly little about how poor people actually define …

Continue reading

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

admin - March 21, 2011

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published this month, is an exercise in ‘framing’ – trying to shift the way we feel, as well as think, about development and aid. It does it rather well. Two big frames: 1. Lives are getting better everywhere, including in Africa. People are healthier, live longer, lose fewer children, learn …

Continue reading

An evening with Bill and Melinda Gates and the decade of vaccines: is this the future of aid?

admin - October 21, 2010

On Monday night I joined the besuited masses of the UK development scene to sit at the feet (OK, in a crammed 400 seat lecture theatre) of Bill and Melinda Gates as they promoted the ONE campaign’s ‘Living Proof’ project on effective aid. It was great to hear an optimistic message on aid and development for once, especially when it was laid out brilliantly in …

Continue reading

Brazil's boom; Africa's pentecostals; food fears and more reasons to invest in health: highlights from this week's Economist

admin - July 6, 2010

Another bumper issue of the Economist this week. Here are some snapshots from my four favourite articles: Politics: A three page feature on Brazil, as its election campaign kicks off today. Constitutional term limits means that Lula is stepping down, despite 75% approval ratings (amazing, after eight years in office), but the country’s success means his chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff, is ahead in the polls: …

Continue reading

How important is growth to improvements in health and education? Not at all, says a new UN paper

admin - June 25, 2010

The first batch of background papers to this year’s big Human Development Report has just been published. The one that caught my eye is by George Gray Molina and Mark Purser. “Human Development Trends since 1970: A Social Convergence Story” crunches a big dataset of Human Development Indicator (HDI) numbers and comes up with some pretty heretical conclusions. It finds that that the links between …

Continue reading

What is the impact of aid on overall health spending?

admin - April 23, 2010

Fungibility makes aid complicated. Where does the money go? The Lancet has put the cat among the aid pigeons with its recent piece on the arcane, but important issue of ‘aid fungibility’. This claims that for every $1 given in health aid, the recipient government shifts between 43 cents and $1.14 of their own spending to other priorities. (If the aid goes to NGOs, by …

Continue reading