Allocating the WHO's resources rationally

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7142.1403 (Published 09 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1403

One cheer for the WHO's proposed changes in regional budgets?

  1. Gwyn Bevan, Reader in policy analysis (G.Bevan@lse.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Operational Research, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE

    News p 1408

    Next week the World Health Assembly will consider a recommendation from the executive board of the World Health Organisation that will radically change the way that budgets are allocated to the WHO's regions.1 Until now regular budgets to regions have been based not on objective criteria but on previous practice, so each region's share has remained largely unchanged since the WHO's inception. The recommendation is for a new system to be implemented gradually over three bienniums from 2000-1. This system is based on the United Nation Development Programme's human development index, possibly adjusted for immunisation coverage, which incorporates population statistics of countries calculated according to “commonly accepted methods such as ‘logarithmic smoothing.’” These recommendations follow from the report of a special group2 charged with reviewing regional allocations. This group agreed that more transparent and objective criteria based on needs at country level should be established for these allocations.

    The diagnosis of inadequacies in the WHO's budget setting and the proposed solution of a weighted …

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