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From Bangkok to Mexico: towards a framework for turning knowledge into action to improve health systems [editorial]
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004 Oct; 82(10):720-721.As a follow-up to the International Conference on Health Research for Development that took place in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2000, WHO convened a Ministerial Summit on Health Research to be held in Mexico City in November 2004, to review progress to date and reflect on emerging opportunities in the global field of health research. In 1990, the Commission on Health Research for Development recommended that all countries should undertake essential national health research; it stipulated that international partnerships are the foundations for progress and that financing for these efforts should be mobilized from both international and national sources. In 1996, WHO'S Ad Hoc Committee on Health Research Relating to Future Intervention Options outlined a five-step priority-setting approach to decide how health research funds should be allocated. It identified "best buys" for the development of products and procedures in several key areas, including childhood infections, malnutrition, microbial threats, noncommunicable diseases and health systems. Overall, progress has been slow and there is much more to be done to deal with major health challenges. (excerpt)
AIDS ANALYSIS AFRICA. 1999 Oct-Nov; 10(3):15-6.The call of UN leaders and other international agencies for an international partnership in the fight against AIDS in Africa was emphasized during the 11th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. It has been estimated that countries spend as much as half of their health budget in AIDS prevention and treatment. The proposed partnership would intensify programs against AIDS and assist the coordinated work of international agencies. The partnership has 4 main plans: 1) encouraging visible and sustained political support; 2) helping to develop nationally-negotiated joint plans of action; 3) increasing financial resources; and 4) strengthening national and regional technical capacity. The European Union expressed their support for the program and feels that the highest level of the government must act to contain HIV focusing on prevention of new infections as the primary priority of the program. The US government also stated their intention to help through provision of financial resources and continuous development of AIDS vaccine. It has been recommended that HIV/AIDS lending must depend on the political commitment of the country.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. xxi, 140,  p. (World Bank Country Study)Health status and life expectancy in Poland have seriously declined since the 1970s. Increases in life expectancy gained in the 1950s and 1960s have in fact reversed. Further, postneonatal mortality is higher in Poland than in most European countries, and urban men and women actually suffer worse health than rural populations. The Polish health system operates from public funds. The Polish government, however, has found it increasingly difficult to provide for the health needs of the country. Hampered by inadequate financing and an inefficient delivery system, health status and service infrastructure continue to deteriorate. This report draws largely from a 5-week visit to Poland by World Bank Health Sector missions in May/June and September, 1990. The Polish government is aware that they must take steps to provide for the health financing and health of the country over the short, intermediate, and long terms. This report closely examines the system and its financing, with hopes that insights will be gained into how the Polish government might reformulate policy and adopt reform measures to implement over the next 5 years. Reviewed are: health outcomes, population health needs, resource mobilization strategies for disease prevention and health promotion; health planning, organization, delivery, and management; health care financing. The government's Health Services Development Program is also considered.
[Unpublished] 1991.  p.Jose G. Rimon, II, Project Director for the Johns Hopkins University Population Communication Services (JHU/PCS) Center for Communication Programs, visited Finland to attend a NORPLANT planning meeting. Meeting discussion focused upon issues involved in expanding NORPLANT programs from pre-introductory trials to broader national programs. Financing and maintaining quality of care were issues of central importance for the meeting. Participants included representative from NORPLANT development organizations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and other donor agencies. Mr. Rimon was specifically invited to make a presentation on the role of information, education, and communication (IEC) on NORPLANT with a focus upon future IEC activities. The presentation included discussion of the need to develop a strategic position for NORPLANT among potential customers and within the service provide community, the feasibility of global strategies positioning in the context of country-specific variations, the need to identify market niches, the need for managing the image of NORPLANT, and the need to study IEC implications in terms of supply-side IEC, content/style harmonization, materials volume, and language and quality control. Participants collectively agreed to develop an informal group to address these issues, concentrating upon universal issues potentially addressed on a global scale. A meeting on strategic positioning is scheduled for August 19-20, 1991.
In: Methodological foundations for research on the determinants of health development, by World Health Organization [WHO]. [Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, Office of Research Promotion and Development, 1985. 1-7. (RPD/SOC/85)Health development planning is part of overall development planning and is influenced by the total development process. Those dealing with health planning may present the health sector's development as the most important aspect of development whereas there may be more urgent problems in other sectors. All socioeconomic plans aim at improving the quality of life. There is some correlation between spending on health programs and the health indices. The health indices are poor in countries which accord low priority to health. A table gives measure of health status by level of GNP/capita in selected countries. No direct correlation appears between income and mortality. This paper examines the functions of health development planning; health development plans; intersectoral collaboration; health information; strategy; financial aspects; implementation, evaluation and reprogramming; and manpower needs. A health development plan usually includes an analysis of the current situation; a review of the immediate past plan and previous plans; the objectives, strategy, targets and physical infrastructure of the plan; program philosophy with manpower requirements; financial implications; and the role of the private sector and nongovernment organizations and related constraints. The main health-related determinants include: education, increased school attendance, agriculture and water, food distribution and income, human resources programs and integrated rural development. The strategy of health sector development today is geared towards development of integrated health systems. Intercountry coordination may be improved with aid from the WHO. Health expenditures in countries including Bangladesh, India and Norway is presented.
New York, New York, Population Council, Center for Poplicy Studies, 1985 Aug. 42 p. (Center for Policy Studies Working Papers No. 113)This analysis of family planning program funding suggests that current funding levels may be inadequate to meet projected contraceptive and demographic goals. Expenditures on organized family planning in less developed countries (excluding China) totaled about US$1 billion in 1982--about $2/year/married woman of reproductive age. Cross-sectional analysis indicates that foreign support as a proportion of total expenditures decreases with program duration. Donor support to family planning in less developed countries has generally declined from levels in the late 1970s. This is attributable both to positive factors such as program success and increased domestic government support as well as requirements for better management of funds and the worldwide economic recession. Foreign assistance seems to have a catalytic effect on contraceptive use only when the absorptive capacity of family planning programs--their ability to make productive use of resources--is favorable. The lower the stage of economic development, the less visible is the impact of contraceptive use or fertility per investment dollar. On the other hand, resources that do not immediately yield returns in contraceptive use may be laying the foundation for later gains, making increased funding of family planning programs an economically justifiable investment. The World Bank has estimated that an additional US$1 billion in public spending would be required to fulfill the unmet need for contraception. To increase the contraceptive prevalence rate in developing countries to 58% (to achieve a total fertility rate of 3.3 children) in the year 2000 would require a public expenditure on population programs of US$5.6 billion, or an increase in real terms of 5%/year. Improved donor-host relations and coordination are important requirements for enhancing absorptive capacity and program performance. A growing willingness on the part of donors to allow countries to specify and run population projects has been noted.
Summary of significant findings from visits to United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway: September 22-30, 1982.
[Unpublished] 1982 Oct. 11 p.There were 2 objectives for the visits to UK, Sweden, and Norway: to discuss current policies relating to and for population and family planning programs, the current levels of funding for multilateral and bilateral programs for population, the relationship of population funding to other sectors of development aid, and the degree of public support for current policies and levels of funding; and to discuss possibilities for referring to these agencies Special Projects submitted to Population Crisis Committee (PCC) but which cannot be funded within the criteria or which have been funded in the initial stages but require more support for expansion or replication. Significant findings from these visits are summarized. All 3 agencies reported wide popular support for development assistance, including assistance in the solution of population problems. There is little debate on the kind of issues that arise in the US Congress and administration. UK officials attribute this to general public understanding of the need to raise standards of living in the 3rd world countries but also to the work of the British Parliamentary Committee on Population and Development. The 2 Scandinavian countries also testified to the popular support for development and population assistance which reflects itself in these governments and parliaments. There is some debate on priorities and levels of financing for particular countries, but these occur primarily within the party caucuses. Regarding levels of funding, it was gratifying to hear that all 3 countries, despite current economic problems, have increased funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in 1982 and project additional increases for 1983. Sweden will provide about US$10 million and Norway about US$6 million. These 2 countries are also increasing bilateral contributions to the health and population programs of a limited number of countries. Preference for multilateral channels over bilateral channels for population aid is most marked in UK where 77% of aid in this fiscal year will go through multilateral channels. The Norwegians are at about a 50-50 ratio and the Swedes at a 1/3 multilateral and a 2/3 bilateral. In all 3 visits, greater interest and favorable policies were found toward the use of NGO channels for population assistance. In addition to their contributions to IPPF which are directed toward the voluntary family planning associations, all 3 countries use nationally based private voluntary agencies to provide assistance to their counterparts in 3rd world countries.