Comparative advantages and disadvantages of “push” and “pull” mechanisms in pharmaceutical management

In pharmaceutical management, distribution schemes for medicines can be defined as “push” or “pull” systems. In a pull system, each level of the system determines the types and quantities of medicines needed and place orders with the supply source. In a push system, supply sources determine the types and quantities of medicines to be delivered… Read more


Adolescent sexual and reproductive health

This helpdesk identified a number of reviews on adolescent SRH. Key findings include: Facilitating school attendance reduces childbearing and schools are an effective platform for reproductive health education. To improve access and use one review recommends: enacting and implementing laws and policies requiring education and reproductive health services, building community support for contraception provision; providing… Read more


Quality of care in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH)

This helpdesk query looks at interventions to improve the quality of care in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). It includes evidence assessing which interventions are likely to have the best impact on service outputs and health outcomes, with an emphasis on cost effectiveness. The MNCH focus is on… Read more


Early childhood development (ECD) in emergencies

Introduction to the topic The international evidence that high quality early childhood development (ECD) programmes benefit all children’s development, life experiences, and life chances is overwhelming. The evidence comes from studies of all kinds, including well-known large quantitative longitudinal studies (e.g. High/Scope Perry studies in the USA and the work of Heckman at http://heckmanequation.org/) to… Read more


Evidence for the greater cost-effectiveness of long acting methods in family planning

The key message from the evidence that although long acting and permanent methods of contraception incur higher initial costs than short acting methods, the long term protection that they provide and substantially greater effectiveness at preventing unintended pregnancies means that their overall cost-effectiveness is higher. Research included in this review describe this key message, including… Read more


Comparative advantage of the private sector in delivery of health services

There is a considerable body of evidence on the private provision of healthcare in low- and middle-income countries, often focusing on SSA. However, the evidence base is not robust. Evidence is often mixed and sometimes conflicting and policy implications are unclear. The arguments in favour of private healthcare suggest it is more responsive and efficient,… Read more


Challenges facing women and girls in accessing menstrual hygiene products in developing countries, and effective approaches to increasing their access

Access to menstrual hygiene products is a major challenge facing women and girls in developing countries and is an aspect of water, sanitation and hygiene that is often overlooked (Crofts et al., 2012). Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products can often mean that women and girls have considerable difficulty in going about their lives… Read more


Public health surveillance

Introduction The 2014/15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrated that there is a need to make disease surveillance more effective. This reading pack sets out key features of effective surveillance systems, challenges to building these systems in low resource settings, and some suggested approaches. It places surveillance in the wider context of health systems strengthening,… Read more


Strengthening examinations and assessment in Uganda: a roadmap – inception report

Improving student learning outcomes is one of the top priorities for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology & Sports (MOESTS). Valid and reliable measures of the quality and distribution of student learning outcomes are essential components in the drive for improved education quality. However, improved learning achievement depends not only on the resources invested in… Read more


Incentivising national scale increases in reading skills in Tanzania

Late in 2015 I jointly posted with Dr. Abhijeet Singh of the Young Lives team in Oxford: Getting learning assessments right when money depends on it about a novel, national scale experiment that directly links financial aid for education to improvements in student learning outcomes. We outlined some of the risks, both statistical and political,… Read more


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