Will we be the first generation to eradicate malaria?

This isn't the first time that Bill Gates and the UK government have announced a $3bn plan to eradicate malaria. Read the full post »
Picture of sign saying "Attention Ebola! Ne Touchons Jamais Ne Manipulons Jamais"

Finding a cure for Ebola

The lessons of Ebola: first, set sensible cost-effectiveness thresholds for investments in global health, and so increase our willingness to invest; second, make an Advance Market Commitment to accelerate the development of new vaccines, for Ebola and for other neglected diseases. Read the full post »
Boy with smallpox on his face

Is aid a waste of money?

If you add up all the aid that all OECD countries have given since they started counting it in 1960, and then assume that the only thing that this aid has achieved was the eradication of smallpox, then the whole thing would still be a bargain, costing less than half what the UK National Health Service spends on average to save a life. Read the full post »
A stethescope and some 100 euro notes

More health for the money

Here is a nice video by my CGD colleagues about our new report on value for money at the Global Fund. Read the full post »
The logo of the Global Fund

Be the generation [Global Fund Edition]

The moment is "right now" according to Charlize Theron (really). And it has been for many years ....

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Nine month old Emabet is about to receive her measles vaccination, in Ethiopia's Merawi province

Malaria vaccine setback: what can we learn?

There has been bad news about the effectiveness of the leading candidate for a malaria vaccine. Has the time has come for donors to make an Advance Market Commitment? Read the full post »
A map showing life expectancy at tube stations

The accident of birth – London edition

Extraordinary map showing life expectancy in different parts of London Read the full post »
Measles, mumps, rubella, virus vaccine vials and syringe on white background

Should we pay less for vaccines?

Progressive development thinkers have welcomed the announcement of new money for the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (GAVI), and support the partnership between governments and the private sector.  A minority of NGOs have criticized GAVI on the grounds that Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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How to spend $1m reducing climate change

We would get three or four times as much bang for our buck - in terms of climate change benefits - from population policies and girls' education as we would from the most cost-effective investments in forest management, and in addition we'd get the broader economic and social benefits for the people of developing countries.

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Why don’t we tackle diseases of the poor?

Walking home today after having lunch in a nearby cafe, I was asked for money by a middle aged man suffering from podoconiosis, sometimes called Mossy Foot.

I bet you are thinking: podo-what?

Podoconiosis is a disease of … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Tackling neglected diseases

Pharmaceutical companies do not have many fans among development workers.

This is a shame, because the development of effective pharmaceuticals has been one of the most transformative new technologies of the last century, increasing life expectancy and the quality of … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Family planning in Ethiopia and the new UN strategy

This week I attended the inauguration a new Marie Stopes family planning clinic in Woldia in northern Ethiopia. Together with yesterdays announcement by the UN of a new "Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health", Every Woman, Every Child, this has led me to reflect on the importance of family planning and maternal health in Ethiopia and in other developing countries.  There is huge unmet need for family planning here in Ethiopia which, if met in full, could both directly improve the lives of many families in Ethiopia, and result in a substantial increase in incomes per head.  A decade of sustained access to modern contraception could have increase incomes per head in Ethiopia by roughly the same amount as the whole of today's international aid to Ethiopia.  The new UN strategy, Every Woman Every Child, isn't really a strategy, but it is a welcome restatement of the importance of the health of women and children. It is shocking that it is almost completely silent on abortion. (Here in Ethiopia, unsafe abortion is responsible for a third of maternal deaths.)

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Innovation and prizes

An interesting Economist article about the uses of prizes to promote innovation is a missed opportunity to explain the economic logic of prizes for innovations for developing countries. The reported comments by Tachi Yamada at the Gates Foundation about the value of market success do not seem to take account of the shortcomings of the system of patents and markets when it comes to developing drugs for diseases that mainly affect developing countries, nor to the problem of ensuring access in developing countries for new drugs.

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Gates discovers (at last) that vertical health programs don’t work?

Apparently Bill Gates now acknowledges that you fight diseases by strengthening health systems. Read the full post »

Should we worry about fungibility of health aid?

A new article published in The Lancet by Chunling Lu with Chris Murray, Dean Jamison and others, has caused quite a stir in development circles.  They use data on health aid and government spending on health to estimate that for … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The Brain Gain

Laura Freschi at AidWatch lists four ways in which the brain drain from Africa is a good thing. Her analysis includes (a) gains to the migrants; (b) gains to the migrants’ families; (c)the benefits of exchange of ideas; and (d) … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Nine month old Emabet is about to receive her measles vaccination, in Ethiopia's Merawi province

What is GAVI’s business model, and what should it be?

I like GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) a lot. Childhood immunization is a hugely cost-effective way to help people in developing countries, and GAVI does very good work helping to get vaccines to children in developing countries.… Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The lethal effects of development advocacy

Aid budgets are limited by the amounts that rich countries are willing to allocate for foreign assistance.  There are limits to the generosity of parliaments, finance ministries and taxpayers.  At the same time, in developing countries there is not enough … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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On the first World Pneumonia Day, spare a thought for the mothers and fathers of the five thousand children who will be killed today by pneumonia.

Pause for a moment in silent thanks to the staff of the GAVI Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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