Cost effectiveness and strategic planning (WHO-CHOICE)

An overview of the rationale, activities and goals of WHO-CHOICE

Why is it necessary to compare a wide variety of health interventions?

Policy makers are concerned with two questions requiring evidence on costs and effects:

  • "Do the resources currently devoted to health achieve as much as they could?" To answer this question, the costs and effects of all interventions currently employed must be compared with the costs and effects of alternatives. Reallocating resources from inefficient to efficient interventions can increase population health with no change in costs
  • "How best to use additional resources if they become available?" This type of analysis is critical for ensuring that as societies become wealthier, additional resources are well used. But it is pointless asking this type of question if the current mix of interventions is inefficient – both questions need to be asked together

WHO-CHOICE permits both questions to be asked and both types of analysis to be undertaken simultaneously