Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

Networking with technical experts

WHO/Marko Kokic

In response to the need for a coordinated international effort on development and knowledge-sharing, CMH has established an extensive network of expert partners, thanks to collaborations with universities, international health institutes and individual consultants. The network supports international, regional and subregional institutions piloting, in an inter-country lessons-sharing approach, analysis of innovative pro-poor activities and country support.

At global level, examples of collaboration are the activities with the Columbia University’s Center for Global Health and Economic Development and the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

The Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED), a joint venture of the Earth Institute and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, has partnered with WHO to provide country-level technical assistance for macroeconomics and health. The Center mobilizes global health programs that help resource-poor countries address the burden of disease, and more specifically, helps achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Center has greatly contributed to the work of MDG task forces in collaboration with the UN Millennium Project.

The MacroHealth process involves working with all relevant stakeholders and government ministries in a country, and helping to create or strengthen national commissions or task forces on macroeconomics and health. General objectives of Columbia University’s support to the MacroHealth process include: identifying countries with sufficient willingness and capacity to undertake the program, developing MacroHealth action plans and structures tailored to country needs, and providing strategic expertise and support to help countries realize the objectives of MacroHealth action plans. In Columbia University’s target countries, advisors have facilitated country-led planning processes aimed at substantially increased funding for health systems and health interventions targeted toward the poor. CGHED has provided long-term support in four countries: Cambodia, India, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka, and short-term support in Yemen, China, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

The Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT, the Netherlands) carries out research, training and advisory services on health and development. A particular focus of KIT work is support to countries in strengthening their capacity for health systems development. This interest has informed KIT work on human resource development, including training, health economics and financing, community involvement, institutional development, partnership building, intra-and inter-sectoral collaboration and health management training.

Following a symposium on macroeconomics and health, which was organized by KIT in Amsterdam in 2002 in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Development Cooperation, a productive cooperation started with the Institute on the follow-up to CSO and country work. KIT has collaborated with WHO on macroeconomics and health activities in Nepal and Senegal, in particular for preparing and planning pro-poor investments in health. In Yemen, the collaboration has focused on a needs assessment related to costing the package of health services, including health system development to achieve the health MDGs. KIT also helped co-organize with the Marga Institue in Colombo the Asian Civil Society Conference on Macroeconomics and Health.

Other collaborations have been established with:

  • Harvard University (USA), on two separate initiatives, one to support the analysis and preparation of the national macroeconomics and health report in India, and the other to analyse trends and allocation of external financial resources in the countries that have adopted the Macroeconomics and Health approach, with a specific in depth look at the funding flows and management processes related to external aid in three countries.
  • The University of Lund (Sweden), to undertake a situational analysis in Vietnam [pdf 566kb] identifying, and preparing the ground work for, the costing of and financing strategies for the national health sector plans in the context of multi-year development planning.
  • Collaboration with expertise from MH countries also contributed to inter-country assessments and support. This has involved so far the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies in Kerala (India), the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi (India) and the Marga Institute in Colombo (Sri Lanka).
  • The Swiss Tropical Institute for supporting selected countries of common interest. An exercise is ongoing in Mozambique.