Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

MacroHealth Newsletter

Special Issue No. 7: Consultation on Macroeconomics and Health: December 2003


Development assistance for health: Recent trends and resource allocation

Dr Catherine Michaud, of the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, shows that the analysis of recent trends of development assistance for health (DAH) from major donors conveys mixed messages:

  • DAH fared much better than other sectors during the 1990s, at a time when ODA plummeted.
  • The past five years have seen increased funding for HIV/AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The CMH Report contributed to increased funding for health, of which a major component has been the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
  • Political commitment to improving health for the poor is at a high point.
  • Funds still fall short of meeting real needs.

In particular, the gap between commitments and disbursements means that DAH is smaller than it appears. Please view the paper at: [pdf 169kb].

Pro-poor health reforms: Why, what and how

Mr Rajiv Misra, Former Health Secretary of the Government of India, provides a convincing argument for targeting the poor in any effort to increase investment in health and implement systemic reforms. Pro-poor reforms are necessary to improve global health quickly and maximize returns on investment. The need of the hour is generating political will both in the developing countries and the donor community in favour of strong and sustained effort towards a balanced, harmonious and participatory development of the poor. Misra also calls for a dramatic increase in funds for health to developing countries, as well as country ownership of the reform process. Please view the paper at : [pdf 178kb].

Links between macroeconomics and health: Relevance to the South-East Asian region

The study by Dr Abusaleh Shariff, Chief Economist and Head of the Human Development Division at the National Council of Applied Economic Research in India, analyses the links between macroeconomics and health in ten countries in the South-East Asian Region: Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. He reports that health is an essential input to economic development, and that health spending must be increased in nearly all South-East Asian Region countries. The study emphasizes several mechanisms for increasing access of the poor to health services including: improved efficiency of investment, reduction of urban bias in health care delivery, decentralization of health services, and community health financing. Please view the paper at: [pdf 271kb].

All Consultation papers can be downloaded from: