The grant will fund ICL's Global Health and Development Group, a key member of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), a network of policy makers, researchers, and development experts that provides advice to decision makers in low- and middle-income countries with respect to public spending on health care.
In this next phase, the network, which has helped inform policy in China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, and Tanzania, will place greater emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, the network has helped the government prioritize its Essential Medicines List, reducing spending on poor-value items and freeing up resources to improve access to the most cost-effective medicines, while in Kenya it trained a Health Benefits Package Committee on evaluating the added value of a new health intervention compared with existing ones. Many sub-Saharan African countries are currently introducing national health insurance or coverage plans and making important decisions about what health services and technologies should be included in Universal Health Coverage offerings, where value-for-money considerations could have a significant impact on outcomes.
"With government and aid budgets under pressure, many developing countries are facing declines in health funding and are going to have to make difficult choices," said iDSI director Kalipso Chalkidou, who also directs the Global Health program at the Center for Global Development. "Policy makers' decisions about what health care to make available and at what cost can be a life or death decision for people across the developing world. We will inform these critical decisions with data and evidence that maps out how best to spend limited funds to improve outcomes and save lives."