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HEALTH POLICY AND PLANNING. 1986 Mar; 1(1):37-47.This economic analysis assesses the probable costs of implementing various activities of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) global strategy of "health for all by the year 2000" and the likelihood that developing countries will be able to afford these costs, either on their own or with the assistance of developed countries. If this policy is to be transformed into concrete results, there must be a plan complete with budgetary requirements, planned activities, and expected results specified in adequate detail. The overall costs of the activities proposed by the global strategy would amount to approximately 5% of the gross national product of most developing countries, with water supplies and primary health care comprising the most expensive activities. Although there is a good match between estimated resource requirements and planned activities, the desired outcomes are often unlikely to result from the activities proposed. At present, all 25 industrial market and nonmarket industrial developed countries have already achieved the outcome goals of the global strategy; however, these countries account for only 25% of the world's population. Of the 63 middle-income countries, 54 have already achieved a gross national product per capita of over US$500, but only 22 have an infant mortality rate better than 50/1000. Very few low-income countries are close to reaching their targets for income, infant mortality, life expectancy, or literacy. On the basis of current trends, 25-33% of countries are considered unlikely to achieve the outcome goals by the year 2000. In general, it appears that expenditure targets are too low to cover the needed health services activities. Further research on the costs of health promoting activities such as immunization and primary health care should be given high priority.
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.