Aid and Development: A brief introduction
Wickstead, Myles A. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.
In part one, this volume details the historical and political backgrounds of aid and development, including the key objectives and priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals. It also examines the shift in the balance of global power and suggests ways in which to adjust to these changes. The second part of the book expounds on key words and concepts and provides further background on some of the major aid organizations.
The USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation project will host a series of webinar discussions of the popular MEASURE Evaluation manual, How Do We Know If a Program Made a Difference? A Guide to Statistical Methods for Program Impact Evaluation (Lance P, Guilkey D, Hattori A, Angeles G, 2014). Each webinar in the series will review key topics from a chapter through verbal discussion and graphical presentation. The webinar series will enable participants to understand the resources offered in the manual, a learning tool for use of methods to estimate program impact. The series will also provide stand-alone training tools for the topics covered. MEASURE Evaluation’s goal with these webinars is to provide a highly interactive learning opportunity to participants (please: ask questions!).
The first webinar, to be held March 31, 2016 at 10am EST, will be on “Fundamentals of Program Impact Evaluation.” The webinar will address the basic challenges of program impact estimation. Presenter Peter Lance, Research Associate at MEASURE Evaluation, will define causality in the process introducing the potential outcomes framework that is the foundation for discussion of most impact estimation methods. He will then describe the different types of data failures that can preclude straightforward estimation of program impact. The consequences of these failures will be illustrated with empirical examples. Finally, we will review a series of background issues (other traditions of causality, observer and Hawthorne effects, etc.) that one should constantly be aware of when estimating program impact and interpreting the results. In the course of this webinar, we will introduce certain basic mathematical tools necessary to the remainder of the series, for sessions that discuss specific impact estimation strategies.
Building on the foundation laid by the March 31 webinar, MEASURE Evaluation will offer additional webinars covering specific impact estimation strategies. The first of those will discuss randomized control trials. Subsequent webinars will cover the selection on observables approaches (such as multiple regression and matching) within estimation (such as difference-in-differences) and final instrumental variables methods.
The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is is launching a new Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Indian Institute of Public Health – Delhi (IIPH-Delhi). The aim of the MPH program is to make public health education and research activities relevant to India in content and context, while attaining standards which are qualitatively comparable with the best in the world.
The program is divided in four semesters over a period of two years. Students must complete 60 credits to graduate.
After the peak of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, health officials went to Guinea to see if routine health care had been curtailed. They found an overall decline in services, especially for children, and, most worrisome, they found that data collected was not being used to track or mitigate the epidemic. MEASURE Evaluation was on those front lines, as described in this video. Watch in English or French.
“Mobile health” or “mHealth” technologies have provided cost-effective ways in low- and middle-income countries to improve access to health care, reduce the cost of health service delivery, and provide quality data for making policy and program decisions. For individuals, a mobile phone can connect them to vital information; alert that it’s time for a check-up; or text a reminder regarding medication.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines eHealth as “the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for health.” According to the WHO, “eHealth is concerned with improving the flow of information, through electronic means, to support the delivery of health services and the management of health systems.”
The South Africa National eHealth strategy (2012) provides a roadmap for the implementation of eHealth in the country. As part of the eHealth foundations section, it states the need for “implementation of a national patient master index for unique patient identification.”
The (South African) National Health Normative Standards Framework for Interoperability in eHealth (HNSF) was released in 2014 to provide guidelines around ensuring interoperability between the various systems in the health sector. Among the recommendations in the HNSF is the establishment of a patient registry to manage patients in the health system.
Decentralizing health services, including those for HIV prevention and treatment, is one strategy for maximizing the use of limited resources and expanding treatment options. However, few methods exist for systematically identifying where investments for service expansion might be most effective in terms of meeting needs and rapid availability of improved services. The Nigerian Government, the United States Government under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, and other donors are expanding services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV to primary health care facilities in Nigeria. Nigerian primary care facilities vary greatly in their readiness to deliver HIV/AIDS services.
In 2012, MEASURE Evaluation assessed 268 PEPFAR-supported primary health care facilities in Nigeria and developed a systematic method for prioritizing these facilities for expansion of PMTCT services. Each assessed facility was scored based on two indices with multiple, weighted variables: one measured facility readiness to provide PMTCT services and the other measured local need for the services and feasibility of expansion. These two scores were compiled and the summary score used as the basis for prioritizing facilities for PMTCT service expansion. The rationale was that using need and readiness to identify where to expand PMTCT services would result in more efficient allocation of resources. A review of the results showed that the indices achieved the desired effect—that is prioritizing facilities with high need even when readiness was problematic and also prioritizing facilities where rapid scale-up was feasible.
This article describes the development of the two-part index and discusses advantages of using this approach when planning service expansion. The authors’ objective is to contribute to development of methodologies for prioritizing investments in HIV, as well as other public health arenas, that should improve cost-effectiveness and strengthen services and systems in resource-limited countries.