The Center for Policy Impact in Global Health is an innovative policy lab that addresses critical challenges in financing and delivering global health. It is housed at the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University.
The case for investing in health as a tool for global development has never been stronger than it is today. The evidence shows that the social and economic returns are extraordinary. Yet as we begin the Sustainable Development Goals era, there are warning signs that the international community is under-investing in health in ways that leave all of us—especially low- and middle-income countries—vulnerable to health threats.
In particular, there are three inter-connected financing gaps that pose major challenges to global health improvement:
- The under-funding of global public goods. Donor financing for health has flat-lined in recent years and too little of it has been directed at crucial global public goods for health—such as developing new medicines and vaccines for neglected diseases of poverty or preparing for global pandemics.
- The “middle-income dilemma” in health. Middle-income countries are increasingly seen as being “too rich” to qualify for donor assistance, yet most of the world’s poor now live in pockets of poverty in MICs, resulting in major health disparities in these countries.
- Inadequate domestic resources for health. Many low- and middle-income countries allocate too few domestic financial resources to health, achieve poor value for money in their health spending, and rely too heavily on private out-of-pocket spending—a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure.
To help mobilize and target financing to improve the health of the most vulnerable populations, the Center addresses these three key challenges through:
Policy analysis: The Center’s multi-disciplinary research team and its international collaborators conduct a wide range of studies to better understand these financing gaps and to design, prototype and model policy solutions to help close them.
Policy engagement: To maximize the relevance, impact, and sustainability of our work, we actively collaborate with global health thought leaders, health and financing experts, and in-country partners inside and outside government.
The Center and its Director have been funded by the University of Washington, the Global Health Technologies Coalition, the Qatar Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Duke Global Health Institute and a small family foundation that has requested anonymity.