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Let’s Chat: How to Make UHC a Reality for Everyone, Everywhere

This blog post was written by the Center for Global Development (CGD) Global Health Policy Team as part of GHC’s Member Spotlight Series. The post is adapted from a World Health Day preview first posted on CGD’s Global Health Policy blog on April 5. You can check out the original post here and highlights from the Twitter chat hereThe Center for Global Development works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community to make the world a more prosperous, just, and safe place for all. They are a 2018 Global Health Council member.

On the eve of World Health Day, GHC and CGD co-hosted a Twitter Chat on how we can work together to improve access to comprehensive, quality health care services in the developing world. Over the course of the hour, participants were asked questions like, “What are key levers to improve efficiency in health systems on the journey towards UHC?” and “How do we change the narrative and view women as drivers of change in global health, not only as beneficiaries?” in a discussion moderated by CGD COO and Senior Fellow Amanda Glassman and GHC President and Executive Director Loyce Pace. You can find key moments and takeaways from the #HealthForAll chat here.

Each year, millions of people fall into poverty because they have to pay out of pocket for medical care. At least half of the world’s population does not have access to essential health services. Universal health coverage (UHC) is the goal of ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without the risk of financial hardship.

We can make UHC happen in our lifetime by targeting investments and incentives on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations in developing countries. Countries at all income levels are proving that UHC can be both achievable and affordable. However, current global funding has leveled off while the need for life-saving services and products has not. Governments and global health funders need to do more with existing resources.

We at CGD have been advocating for UHC for years, using evidence-based research to inform our policy recommendations. We’ve hosted events, convened working groups, contributed to the creation of international networks, produced podcasts, and written extensively on UHC’s potential—when done in an evidence-based, ethical way—to improve both the equity and reach of global healthcare. From our Twitter Chat, we are excited to be reminded that many of you feel the same way.

What’s In, What’s Out. A recent CGD publication that serves as a guidebook for the creation of health benefits plans to promote universal health care.

Last week, we hosted a breakout session at the World Bank’s Third Annual UHC Financing Forum, which examined the role of health commodity procurement as a core element of equitable and universal health coverage. In the coming months, we will continue our work in UHC by highlighting three areas that will impact efficiency and achieve more health for the same amount of money, particularly in low- and middle-income countries:

1) Adoption of an explicit, evidence-based Health Benefits Package—a defined list of services that are and are not subsidized—is essential in creating a sustainable UHC system. It is key to evaluate how much health an intervention will buy for each dollar.
2) Better data and performance verification—combined with results-based funding—is a powerful instrument for UHC mechanisms. There is the potential to improve the efficiency of the health system and increase the productivity of health workers, while ensuring quality, equitable services at an affordable cost.
3) More systematic use of health technology assessment of the comparative effectiveness and costs of health technologies will provide the economic and clinical evidence needed for decisions about what products to purchase to achieve greater impact for money spent.

World Health Day kicked off a drumbeat of activities that will focus on increasing political will to advance health for all. The series of events include: the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) in May, the United Nations General Assembly in September, and the marking of the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration in October in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is anticipated that a new Alma-Ata Declaration will be set in motion and adopted at the WHA in 2019. These moments provide an opportunity to help shape and accelerate the UHC agenda.

We hope you will join us in our continued work on UHC. All of your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Voices of Experience: A Conversation with Former Directors of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health

Organized by Center for Global Development

January 17
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Center for Global Development
Washington, DC


(This event will also be a Live Webcast)

Join Center for Global Development (CGD) for a conversation with four former directors of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health. Since the Office’s inception in 1969, the US government has played a substantial role in supporting expanded access to voluntary family planning around the world through technical assistance, diplomatic and policy engagement, and financial support. But differences in policy across administrations have meant that US leadership in international family planning has often faced periods of uncertainty. CGD is convening a panel to revisit historic experiences and to shed light on lessons learned that may be used to inform stakeholders in the current landscape.

Featured Speakers:

1) Duff Gillespie, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
2) Liz Maguire, Senior Advisor for Reproductive Health and Rights
3) Margaret Neuse, Independent Consultant
4) Scott Radloff, Senior Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Introduction: Amanda Glassman, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Moderator: Felice Apter, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

Malaria Control: A Critical Investment for Saving Lives in Africa

Organized by

September 27
12:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L Street NW, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC

Sign up for live-streaming

Honorary Co-hosts

Sen. Chris Coons (Co-Chair of Malaria Caucus)
Sen. Roger Wicker 
(Co-Chair of Malaria Caucus)


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (Invited)
Kesete Admasu, Roll Back Malaria Partnership CEO
Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Irene Koek, Acting U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator
Bernard Nahlen, Deputy Coordinator, U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative
Elizabeth Chizema, Director, National Malaria Elimination Centre, Zambia
Patrick Kachur, Chief of the Malaria Branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Regina Rabinovich, President-elect of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation
Amanda Glassman, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development


This event will serve as an opportunity to discuss and celebrate the launch of a special supplement to the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that reports on nine new contributions on the impact of malaria control interventions. Specifically, the articles document the success of various malaria control efforts (including the causal link between malaria intervention scale-up and reductions in malaria morbidity and mortality) and new methods for evaluating the impact of large-scale malaria control programs. Taken together, the articles represent a conceptual and practical framework for planning and executing a new generation of impact evaluations, with possible applications to other health conditions in low-resource settings.

Improving the Use of Economic Evaluation for Global Health Funders

Event CGD


Improving the Use of Economic Evaluation for Global Health Funders

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
**Please bring your lunch–beverages provided**


Thomas Wilkinson
Adviser in Health Economics, NICE International
With Discussant
Mead Over
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Moderated by
Amanda Glassman
Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development 

A health policy decision is only as good as the information available to the decision maker. As countries strive to achieve Universal Health Coverage and funding from local governments and global donors is scrutinized, there is an acute need for more and better economic evaluation to inform government and donor investments in healthcare. To that end, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest funders of health economic evaluation in LMIC settings, has partnered with an international collaboration of experts to develop the Gates Reference Case – a principle-based standardised methodology for good practice in the planning, implementation, and reporting of economic evaluation for informing priority setting in health. This session will introduce the principles of the Gates Reference Case, explain how and why the reference case was developed, and what this might mean for the conduct and use of economic evaluation and decision-making in LMIC.

The Gates-RC is an element of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), a platform supported by the UK’s Department for International Development, BMGF, and the Rockefeller Foundation, for engaging with and responding to the growing demand for evidence-informed decision-making processes. iDSI involves a partnership between an increasing number of institutions around the world, including NICE international and the Center for Global Development.