The Duke Center for International Development (DCID) and the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) at Duke University are collaborating on a new policy lab to address financing gaps for global health in low- and middle-income countries.

The new Center for Policy Impact in Global Health, launched Dec. 1, will prototype and model solutions to target financing to improve the health of the world’s poor. It will address three significant gaps in global health financing:

  • A gap in donor financing for research and development for poverty-related and neglected diseases
  • A “middle-income gap,” which arises when countries cross an income threshold and no longer qualify for health aid
  • A domestic health financing gap in low- and middle-income countries

“Taken together, these gaps threaten the achievement of a universal reduction in avertable deaths,” said Gavin Yamey, director of the center and professor of the practice of global health and public policy at Duke. “The mission of the center is to provide evidence and independent policy analyses to quantify these gaps and develop policy solutions to overcome them.”

DGHI will estimate the annual cost to develop the most crucial medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other global health technologies, and develop policy options for funding this product development.

DCID’s role will be to partner with selected low- and middle-income country governments to find ways to mobilize additional health spending. DCID Director Indermit Gill and faculty from DCID’s Public Finance Group will analyze countries’ tax, budgeting and public financial management systems to identify domestic sources of funding for high-impact health interventions.

“Health policy is a critical component of successful development strategies,” Gill said. “This partnership will leverage Duke’s expertise in health and public finance to help improve the lives and livelihoods of people in the developing world.” 

The center’s key research partners will be the Evidence to Policy initiative in the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco; SEEK Development, a global health and development consulting group in Berlin, Germany; and AidData, based in the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

The center will also host an annual “deliberative dialogue” that brings together researchers and policymakers to collectively tackle major strategic challenges, and a Global Health Fellows program, a training program open to junior and mid-career professionals from low- and middle-income countries.

The center has received funding for its analytic work and policy engagement from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Qatar Foundation, the Global Health Technologies Coalition, the University of Washington and DGHI.

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