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Ottersen T.,University of Bergen | Maestad O.,Chr Michelsen Institute Cmi | Norheim O.F.,University of Bergen
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation | Year: 2014

Background: Multiple principles are relevant in priority setting, two of which are often considered particularly important. According to the greater benefit principle, resources should be directed toward the intervention with the greater health benefit. This principle is intimately linked to the goal of health maximization and standard cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). According to the worse off principle, resources should be directed toward the intervention benefiting those initially worse off. This principle is often linked to an idea of equity. Together, the two principles accord with prioritarianism; a view which can motivate non-standard CEA. Crucial for the actual application of prioritarianism is the trade-off between the two principles, and this trade-off has received scant attention when the worse off are specified in terms of lifetime health. This paper sheds light on that specific trade-off and on the public support for prioritarianism by providing fresh empirical evidence and by clarifying the close links between the findings and normative theory.Methods: A new, self-administered, computer-based questionnaire was used, to which 96 students in Norway responded. How respondents wanted to balance quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained against benefiting those with few lifetime QALYs was quantified for a range of different cases.Results: Respondents supported both principles and were willing to make trade-offs in a particular way. In the baseline case, the median response valued a QALY 3.3 and 2.5 times more when benefiting someone with lifetime QALYs of 10 and 25 rather than 70. Average responses harbored fundamental disagreements and varied modestly across distributional settings.Conclusion: In the specific context of lifetime health, the findings underscore the insufficiency of pure QALY maximization and explicate how people make trade-offs in a way that can help operationalize lifetime prioritarianism and non-standard CEA. Seen through the lens of normative theory, the findings highlight key challenges for prioritarianism applied to priority setting. © 2014 Ottersen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Soreide T.,Chr Michelsen Institute Cmi | Truex R.,Yale University
Development Policy Review | Year: 2013

Multi-stakeholder groups - involving representatives from civil society, government and the private sector - are increasingly seen as a means of promoting improved service delivery and operational performance in natural-resource sectors. Although the intention is to promote dialogue, learning and collaboration towards agreed goals and the implementation of standards for better sector governance and performance, the impact of these initiatives will be shaped by members' incentives and external constraints. This article describes how incentive incompatibilities will prevent the group from effectively addressing fundamental problems in the sectors, such as corruption. Multi-stakeholder groups can be a viable forum for debate, but should not be expected to perform a role in fighting corruption in natural-resource management. © The Authors 2013. Development Policy Review © 2013 Overseas Development Institute.

Chimhutu V.,University of Bergen | Lindkvist I.,Chr Michelsen Institute Cmi | Lange S.,Chr Michelsen Institute Cmi
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2014

Background: Despite limited evidence of its effectiveness, performance-based payments (P4P) are seen by leading policymakers as a potential solution to the slow progress in reaching Millennium Development Goal 5: improved maternal health. This paper offers insights into two of the aspects that are lacking in the current literature on P4P, namely what strategies health workers employ to reach set targets, and how the intervention plays out when implemented by local government as part of a national programme that does not receive donor funding. Methods. A total of 28 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 25 individuals were conducted in Mvomero district over a period of 15 months in 2010 and 2011, both before and after P4P payments. Seven facilities, including six dispensaries and one health centre, were covered. Informants included 17 nurses, three clinical officers, two medical attendants, one lab technician and two district health administrators. Results: Health workers reported a number of strategies to increase the number of deliveries at their facility, including health education and cooperation with traditional health providers. The staff at all facilities also reported that they had told the women that they would be sanctioned if they gave birth at home, such as being fined or denied clinical cards and/or vaccinations for their babies. There is a great uncertainty in relation to the potential health impacts of the behavioural changes that have come with P4P, as the reported strategies may increase the numbers, but not necessarily the quality. Contrary to the design of the P4P programme, payments were not based on performance. We argue that this was due in part to a lack of resources within the District Administration, and in part as a result of egalitarian fairness principles. Conclusions: Our results suggest that particular attention should be paid to adverse effects when using external rewards for improved health outcomes, and secondly, that P4P may take on a different form when implemented by local implementers without the assistance of professional P4P specialists. © 2014Chimhutu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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