Health

Results for Development provides evidence, advice, support and connections to change agents as they drive the progress needed to deliver high-quality, affordable health services for all.

The Challenge

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have made enormous progress over the last few decades in health, resulting in higher life expectancy, lower child mortality and other gains. Better health is an important component of achieving human potential and contributes to economic growth and poverty reduction. However, despite progress, there still is a gap between the health status of LMICs and higher-income countries — and the gap is largest for the disadvantaged populations in these countries.

Global donor spending on health in low- and middle-income countries, which surged in the early 2000s, emphasized “vertical” programs aimed at addressing communicable diseases, such as malaria or HIV, and specific health technologies, such as immunizations. These initial investments also focused on service delivery. In recent years, however, external assistance for health has plateaued or declined as the ability of many LMICs to use their own resources for health has increased with economic growth.

As such, it is time to decisively shift the emphasis of development assistance for health to support local change agents. We need to ensure the sustainable mobilization and effective use of domestic funding, and we can do so by strengthening primary health care and reorienting health systems so that they are well integrated. Strong health systems and primary health care should be effective, efficient, adaptable, responsive and resilient.

Our Work

R4D works with change agents who want to advance their health-related goals — such as achieving universal health coverage (UHC), strengthening primary health care and ending preventable child and maternal deaths — but who are unsure how best to do this. We help them design and implement reforms that draw on global experience adapted to local contexts.

We collaborate with, and build the expertise of, change agents in low- and middle-income countries on issues ranging from financing, to reaching and meeting the needs of disadvantaged populations, to improving prevention and primary care, using monitoring and evaluation systems to identify issues and adjust policies and implementation.

R4D has extensive expertise in key drivers of sustainable financing, including domestic resource mobilization, public financial management, strategic purchasing and costing. We also support countries with other areas of system-strengthening, including adaptation of innovation into systems, public-private engagement, market shaping, use of data for decision-making, governance and citizen engagement. We support countries in a number of ways — supporting policymaking and implementation, developing institutions, facilitating collaborative learning among change agents and conducting applied research and quantitative analysis.

Our work includes:

Learn more about our health systems work

Learn more about the health areas we work in

R4D Digital Communities

We create and support global communities of innovators, funders and policymakers for continuous and iterative learning, knowledge generation, exchange and collaboration. Explore some of our communities: