Methods of Value for Money analysis in international development to be explored by sector experts
International development, health sector and value for money experts to attend conference to discuss the implications of new research into Value for Money analysis.
In recent years, the donor community has exhibited an increased focus on the financial efficiency of the programmes they fund. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) uses its own Value for Money (VfM) analysis tool, which has been an influential benchmark for other organisations. In 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) commissioned the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) to develop guidelines on how to determine the value of health interventions in low and middle income countries, taking into account their costs and benefits. The set of principles they came up with are known as the Reference Case for Economic Evaluation (RC).
On Tuesday, the Royal Society will play host to academics, researchers and policy experts as they discuss whether the RC principles could be used to make VfM analysis more useful, and vice versa.
The discussion will be informed by an OPM report written around the topic, which makes a number of recommendations. These include technical improvements to DFID’s VfM guidelines such that they adhere to parts of the RC, and on the other side that iDSI further develop the RC so it becomes of wider use to policy makers beyond health economic evaluations specifically.
The conference is a key opportunity for stakeholders to meet, share ideas and continue to improve programmes in the health sector and beyond by making development spending as efficient as possible. Ultimately, the more that is achieved with each pound or dollar spent, the better the outcome for the households and communities reached.
Author of the paper and Consultant at Oxford Policy Management, Alex Jones, said:
‘The conference is a great starting point for changing the way we look at value in development programmes, and we’re delighted to be hosting such a wealth of talent from academia and policymaking to discuss the issue. We have got to the point where we can generally know how much is spent and where. The next question is what was achieved with that money, and was it worth it?’
The conference will be chaired by Tim Ensor, Professor of International Health Systems Research at the University of Leeds, and will be structured around a feature presentation from Alex Jones. A first response will then be given by Peter Smith, Emeritus Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College London, before opening up the debate to the other attendees. Representatives from organisations with practical and theoretical expertise in measuring VfM, as well as those who need to use VfM analysis to inform their decision making will be in attendance, including DFID, NICE International, Mott MacDonald, ITAD, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Institute of Development Studies and OPM.