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Benchmarks Of Global Health Program Success Should Include Impact Measurements

Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a research fellow with the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Yuna Sakuma, a research assistant at CGD, write in the center’s “Global Health Policy” blog about Glassman’s recent opinion piece in The Guardian and why she is “critical of using indicators like ‘bed nets distributed’ to convey anything about the impact of the program on disease.” They continue, “[C]ountry-specific data from the Malaria Indicator Surveys (MIS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) shows that the number of bed nets distributed is not directly related to the share of women or children sleeping under a net, much less the number of malaria cases prevented which is a function of the appropriate use of the net and the cumulative effectiveness of other malaria control measures.” They add, “This is really the point of all our work on value for money: we should measure what matters for impact — like bed nets use, not distribution — and we should assess how we target our interventions so that the money goes as far as it can to improve health” (9/27).