Disease Control Priorities Network
Accurate, comprehensive information that quantifies expected costs, health benefits, and other consequences of different policy options to reduce the burden of disease can be a powerful input for improved decision-making.
Organizations operating at the international level often must choose how to allocate resources for new technology development or to fund the delivery of specific existing interventions. At the national level, governments, non-governmental organizations, and private providers must choose among investments in strengthening health systems (such as building new infrastructure and training health workers) and purchasing inputs for specific public health and medical programs. Decision-makers at both the international and national levels need access to valid, reliable, and comparable information on the costs and consequences of a broad range of feasible policy options.
While the international community has made major strides in making robust scientific evidence on interventions available to decision-makers, there is tremendous potential to strengthen evidence-based health policy formulation.
The Disease Control Priorities Network (DCPN) project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a collaborative project facilitated by two primary units at the University of Washington – IHME and the Department of Global Health. The DCPN’s goal is to improve how health resources are allocated across a wide range of options, including interventions, health service delivery platforms (such as hospitals and clinics), and research and development of new health technologies.
One of the key questions that IHME seeks to answer is how we can best dedicate resources to get the maximum impact in improving population health. This research provides a way to systematically account for the particular context policymakers face and to incorporate carefully thought out ethical considerations.
The DCPN project’s work at IHME is distributed across multiple IHME-based research teams, each pursuing projects contributing to the overall project goals: Health Service Delivery Constraints, Monitoring Costs, Cost Effectiveness, Optimal Resource Allocation, and Equity and Fairness in Decision-making.
Ultimately, focused activities within these research teams will help to achieve several major objectives for the project, which will collectively help to realize the project’s overall goal, including:
- Generating empirical estimates of intervention effectiveness
- Assessing the relationship between provider behavior, patient or consumer behavior, and supply chain continuity with price, regulation, supervision, managerial capacity, cultural competence, and other policy instruments across interventions
- Assessing the costs of delivery interventions, expanding platforms, or changing the quality of platforms
- Assessing the current state of delivery platforms across countries and the costs and consequences of interventions to expand or improve the quality of platforms
- Developing a network of collaborators and users of the key information generated
A History of Disease Control Priorities
The DCPN work stems from research carried out in the late 1990s by the World Bank. In 1993, Oxford University Press published the first edition of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries (DCP1), with contributions from the World Health Organization, scholars, practitioners, and public health specialists.
In 2006, a second edition of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries (DCP2) was published, including updated information about the global burden of diseases linked to tobacco and alcohol use, psychiatric disorders, and injury.
DCP2 highlighted cost-effective interventions based on careful analysis of health systems and the costs of disease burden, treatment, and prevention for a comprehensive range of diseases and conditions.
These publications stimulated national and international debate on health sector investments and have become reference works used extensively by policymakers, international development agencies, and academic institutions.
DCPN expands on this work by analyzing the cost effectiveness of interventions and health service delivery platforms in the 21 regions of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2010 Study. The new work also will assess the effectiveness of different policy options on the content, deployment, and quality of platforms.
Copies of the publications, original tables, and information about the earlier work are available at: http://www.dcp2.org/page/main/Home.html
The DCPN research activities being carried out at IHME will:
- Provide a consistent and comparable set of cost inputs to be used across cost effectiveness assessments, calibrated regionally
- Provide insights about health service delivery constraints and their measurable impact on outcomes
- Allow policymakers to consistently consider complex dimensions of resource allocation and impact, including equity trade-offs and platform contexts
- Result in a wide range of comparable estimates of cost effectiveness adjusted regionally
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The goal of DCPN is to improve how health resources are allocated in countries by producing estimates of the costs and cost effectiveness of interventions and health service delivery platforms.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation