Good practices in foreign assistance for health
Please find below an interesting article on good practices for improving the impact of foreign assistance for health, from the weekly newsletter of the O* Research Platform on Aid Effectiveness. The objective of Research Platform Aid Effectiveness is to inform, train and advise policy makers and aid managers and to inspire a more effective development cooperation policy.
Foreign assistance for health reached $28.2 billion in 2010, but has since leveled off, leaving governments and global health funders with the imperative to do more with existing resources. We have previously highlighted the work in progress at CGDev which aims to find concrete, feasible ways to increase value for money in the health sector, but now a fully fledged report is available (interactive summary here and Guardian contribution here). It offers practical technical policies and practices to improve impact corresponding to four phases within the Global Fund’s grant-making cycle: allocation, contracts, costs and spending, and performance and verification. It thus sets out a new model of financing more closely related to actual outcomes at a given cost, and builds in better measures of recipient accountability for their performance on outcomes not just inputs. It retains the sensible focus on country ownership while making the Global Fund itself far more accountable to its own funders for ensuring, as the report title says, “more health for the money”. However, the report also raises deeper and tougher challenges for the Global Fund and indeed for all the major funders of global health programs, including the need to anticipate the political challenges posed by the agenda. This Guardian article provides further information on the UK’s recent “all or nothing” pledge to contribute £1bn to the Global Fund provided other donors follow suit.