Events
The Big Push toward Universal Health Coverage: Metrics, Data, and Impact
October 26, 2015Inclusion and Shared Prosperity

The developing world—and some parts of the developed world too, including the United States—is in the midst of a big push toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). There is, however, confusion about what UHC means and how to measure it. As a result it is unclear how far countries are from reaching UHC, and the degree to which different UHC-inspired reforms have actually helped move countries towards UHC.

In this talk, Adam Wagstaff will expose the limitations of often-used UHC definitions and metrics, propose a new UHC index that reflects a more satisfactory definition of UHC, and present results for selected countries. He will also use the index to reinterpret the results of impact evaluations of different types of health reform to see how far they might have pushed countries towards UHC. Finally, he will discuss the implications of the new approach for the data agenda, research, policy, and World Bank lending and non-lending activities. 

Last Updated: Oct 06, 2015

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    Adam Wagstaff, Research Manager, Research Department

    Adam Wagstaff is Research Manager of the Human Development and Public Services team in the Development Research Group. He holds a DPhil in economics from the University of York and, before joining the Bank, was a Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex. He was an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics for 20 years and has published extensively on a variety of aspects of the field, including health financing and health systems reform; health, equity and poverty; the valuation of health; the demand for and production of health; efficiency measurement; and illicit drugs and drug enforcement. Much of his recent work has been on health insurance, health financing, vulnerability and health shocks, and provider payment reform. He has extensive experience of China and Vietnam but has worked on countries in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Europe and Central Asia, as well as other countries in East Asia. Outside health economics, he has published on efficiency measurement in the public sector, the measurement of trade union power, the redistributive effect and sources of progressivity of the personal income tax, and the redistributive effect of economic growth.
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
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    Timothy G. Evans, Senior Director for the Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice at the World Bank

    Timothy Evans is the Senior Director for the Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Dr. Evans has been active in the international health arena for more than 20 years. Before joining the World Bank he was the Dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University in Bangladesh. Previously he served as Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization, heading the Evidence, Information, Research and Policy Clusters, where he oversaw the production of the annual World Health Report. Dr. Evans has been a leader in advancing global health equity and health systems performance throughout his career, notably through his work with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health and with his contributions to the development of innovative partnerships, including the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization, INDEPTH and Health Metrics networks, the Global Health Workforce Alliance and the World Alliance for Patient Safety. Dr. Evans earned his DPhil in agricultural economics at Oxford, and pursued medical and postgraduate studies at McMaster and Harvard Universities.

The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The goal of the monthly event is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff, so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices.  Read More »

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