How do global health academics “reach the people”?

Policy Blog
Today, at the Triangle Global Health Consortium annual conference, our Center Director Gavin Yamey was a panelist on a panel called “Reach the People: How to Communicate Global Health Issues and Solutions.” Below, we post his 10-minute panel presentation. In the next 10 minutes, I’m going to try and answer the question: How does a global health academic like me “reach the people”? I’m taking a bit of liberty in thinking about who “the people” are.  I direct a global health policy center at Duke, and for us our key engagement is with a broad array of policymakers – global health funders, foundations, ministries of health and finance, NGOs, and so on. We want our analytic work to influence the conversations, the debates, the dialogue among these global health actors.…
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Donor approaches to health aid transitions: Gavi and PEPFAR

Policy Blog
Many former low-income countries are developing their economies and becoming capable of self financing their health systems. External donors are responding to this shift in varied ways: some have developed exit strategies based on reaching pre-determined milestones while others have shifted programmatic areas of focus and funding levels to respond to a country’s context specific needs. As countries continue to develop their capacity to become more self-reliant, how will donors respond in turn? Will these donor responses enable countries to sustainably continue to advance? Could such responses, if not properly prepared for, slow or even reverse progress? To understand and build the knowledge base around this phenomenon, known as transitions from health aid, we are publishing a series on how seven major global health funders are approaching transition. The seven…
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Are the multilaterals ready to act on pandemic prevention and other global public goods?

Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog. The authors, Kaci Kennedy McDade and Gavin Yamey have authored a working paper “Aligning multilateral support for global public goods for health under the Global Action Plan" Later this month, leaders from across the world will gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. During the U.N. High-level Political Forum, the Global Action Plan for healthy lives and well-being for all will launch. Announced at the 2018 World Health Summit, the Global Action Plan is a historic commitment by 12 major multilateral health and development organizations to join forces to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, signatories to the Global Action Plan agreed to align their efforts, accelerate progress in key areas, and enhance accountability across common…
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How do major health donors prepare for country exits?

Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog. The authors, Kaci Kennedy McDade, Osondu Ogbuoji, Marco Schäferhoff, and Gavin Yamey have authored a review “Health aid in transition: a review of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria." Many development donors use country income levels—typically gross national income per capita—to ensure that their support for health systems in the developing world goes to countries with the greatest need. As a result, donors often reduce support when countries graduate from low- to middle-income status. While this graduation reflects advancement in economic development and is cause for celebration, transitions away from donor assistance for health typically bring significant challenges for middle-income countries. The evidence also appears to indicate that countries that are expected to graduate from multilateral health assistance…
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The “4 Ds” that Threaten Middle-Income Countries

Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Global Health NOW June 26, 2019. The authors, Shashika Bandara, Kaci Kennedy McDade, Hanna Huffstetler, and Wenhui Mao are major contributors to the 4Ds project at the Center.   In the last 2 decades, more than 30 countries moved from low-income to middle-income status, a billion people were lifted out of poverty, and there were major reductions in maternal and child mortality globally. Despite this progress, middle-income countries, where over 70% of the world’s population now live, are facing unprecedented challenges. The progress they’ve made is threatened. In particular, 4 key phenomena—which we call the 4Ds of global health transition—are rapidly reshaping the nature of health in MICs: Disease: The global burden of disease is shifting away from infections toward non-communicable diseases and injuries. In many…
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Measuring the gap between ability and effort in domestic revenue mobilization

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog. The authors, Ipchita Bharali and Indermit Gill have authored a policy brief and a report "Enhancing domestic revenues: constraints and opportunities" available for download here. Developing countries should expect foreign aid to fall during the transition from low to middle income, and end soon after. In low-income countries, the share of foreign aid is about 2.5 percent of GDP. This drops to 0.8 percent in lower-middle-income economies; by upper-middle-income levels, it is a negligible 0.2 percent. For both givers and receivers of foreign assistance, one of the main concerns is that foreign aid weakens the incentives to build domestic revenue administration capacity and make sensible tax policy choices. The stakes can be high. Even a pre-announced and gradual reduction of foreign…
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A Roadmap for Ending the Moral Catastrophe of TB

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog
This Op-Ed was first published in GLOBAL HEALTH NOW of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Op-Ed focuses on the release of the report by the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis, the challenges and opportunities ahead to end TB. The good news is that tuberculosis deaths are declining steadily. The bad news is that we are wildly off track to meet the bold targets set for controlling the world’s #1 lethal infectious disease. The Sustainable Development Goals call for a 90% reduction in TB deaths by 2030. And the WHO’s End TB strategy calls for a 90% reduction in TB incidence by 2035. Yet at current rates of decline, a 90% reduction in TB incidence probably will not be achieved in in India until 2124 or in Uganda until 2134, for example. Such…
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Is trade with India changing Africa’s health care landscape?

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog, Stories from Africa Seminar Series
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog and is part of an ongoing series of blogs based on the Stories from Africa Seminar Series that concluded in November 2018 at Duke University. Two of the authors, Siddharth Dixit and Chinmoy Kumar, along with Indermit Gill, have authored a related recent paper "Are Economic Relations with India Helping Africa?" available for download here. African countries face numerous challenges in health services, from severe shortages of health care professionals to weak leadership and governance to limited infrastructure and resources to self-imposed policy barriers. In recent years, trade in the health sector has provided some solutions, such as eHealth (the use of information and communication technologies for health) and mHealth (the use of mobile devices for health). But there is still a long way to go…
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Stories from Africa: Closing Africa’s health financing gap

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog, Stories from Africa Seminar Series
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog and is part of an ongoing series of blogs based on the Stories from Africa Seminar Series that concluded in November 2018 at Duke University. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) health targets are extremely ambitious. They call for ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, and preventable deaths of newborns and children below 5 years of age by 2030. Achieving these targets will require large sums of money. Karin Stenberg and colleagues estimate that among 67 low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs)—representing 95 percent of the population of all LICs and MICs—the annual financing gap to reach the SDG health targets is more than $370 billion. About half of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the…
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Stories from Africa: Achieving Health Gains on the Way to Universal Health Coverage

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog, Stories from Africa Seminar Series
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog and is part of an ongoing series of blogs based on the Stories from Africa Seminar Series that concluded in November 2018 at Duke University. Health leaders and policymakers around the world have a shared interest and commitment to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. Health systems are responding to increased demand due to population growth, aging populations with complex conditions, or prior commitments to achieve UHC. Despite health gains in the last 20 years, problems are particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa. As economies grow to middle-income levels, they have to tackle communicable diseases while more people are living with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension. The burden of disease may be higher in low-income economies, but the complexity of…
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