Disease Control Priorities Third Edition: Time to Put a Theory of Change Into Practice; Comment on “Disease Control Priorities Third Edition Is Published: A Theory of Change Is Needed for Translating Evidence to Health Policy”

Document Type: Commentary

Authors

1 Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand

2 Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

3 Centre for Excellence in Economic Analysis Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

4 School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK

5 Center for Global Development, London, UK

6 Department of Economics and Related Studies and Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK

Abstract

The Disease Control Priorities program (DCP) has pioneered the use of economic evidence in health. The theory of change (ToC) put forward by Norheim is a further welcome and necessary step towards translating DCP evidence into better priority setting in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We also agree that institutionalising evidence for informed priority-setting processes is crucial. Unfortunately, there have been missed opportunities for the DCP program to challenge ill-judged global norms about opportunity costs and too little respect has been shown for the wider set of local circumstances that may enable, or disable, the productive application of the DCP evidence base. We suggest that the best way forward for the global health community is a new platform that integrates the many existing development initiatives and that is driven by countries’ asks.

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