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Study Claims World Bank Health Efforts Ineffective in Africa

A study claims that the efforts taken by the World Bank and other agencies in spending billions of dollars over health programmes in Africa have not been effective.

The survey funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the ...Read More

Posted on : Friday, June 11, 2010 8:55 AM
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Rathi, please note that the World Bank has responded. It is also good to look at the latest Bank project that strengthens [among other things] TB diagnostic capacity across East Africa

Here's the Bank's response:

World Bank Response to Report by TB advocacy group ACTION
Washington DC, June 9, 2010—Tuberculosis (TB) and other communicable diseases are serious health and development challenges. The World Bank, its developing country clients, and their aid partners agree that it is better to prevent TB rather than treat it in Africa.

However, the Bank disagrees with the basic approach of “Aid without Impact�, a new report by Advocacy to Control TB Internationally (ACTION). This one-dimensional report sets out to critique sector-wide approaches (SWAps) in Africa and in particular their impact on TB. It does not consider the Bank�s work on health in Africa as a whole. Yet ACTION makes the broad claim that the Bank health programs fail to improve health outcomes. This claim is based on weak methodology and a linear look at a complex picture involving many actors and multiple health sector reforms being implemented in parallel.

The Bank is focused on achieving tangible results. The Bank is committed to carefully monitor results on the ground and is widely acknowledged as a leading institution in the area of monitoring and evaluation. For example, the Bank has carried out hundreds of randomized trials of development innovations and invests heavily in building national capacity to measure socioeconomic progress.

A number of different partners are involved in SWAps in Africa. Notably, the World Bank provides a relatively small share of the financing—usually less than 20 percent—with many other donors contributing. For example, in the large Tanzania SWAp, the government is by far the largest financier. Of the numerous donors’ contribution to this SWAp, the World Bank only accounts for about 15 percent . Partners currently contributing to the pooled funds include Canada, Denmark, Germany (GTZ and KfW), Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, UNFPA, UNICEF and the WB. Other major donors outside the pool include DfID, USAID and the Global Fund.

The majority of World Bank health operations in Africa do not involve SWAps.
Replied on Friday, June 11, 2010 8:55 AM

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