Major Global Health Donors Focus On Data Collection To Improve Funding Efficiencies

Inside Philanthropy: Big Funders, Big Data: The Growing Quest to Learn More About Global Health
“…You can see why billionaires like [Michael] Bloomberg and [Bill] Gates, both of whom made their fortunes in the information economy, would give big for massive data projects. Each of these funders has tens of billions of dollars to dispose of, and each is playing the long game — searching for the right ways to deploy vast wealth to improve global health over many years to come. Better data is seen as foundational to doing such giving right. Maybe even more importantly, a wide range of other players working on global health could benefit from better data. Still, not everyone is so sure this is the best use of global health dollars. The most common critique is that the money spent on data gathering could be better spent backing actions to save lives right now. … Regardless of arguments on both sides, big data projects are looming ever larger in the global health space, and it will be interesting to see how these ambitious efforts translate on the ground…” (Moses, 2/1).

The Lancet: Profile: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, WA, USA
“The mission of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is deceptively simple: identify what makes people ill, what kills them, and what preventive measures work to keep them healthy. Now, a decade after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the IHME at the University of Washington School of Medicine, WA, USA, with a US$105 million grant, the institute’s staff numbers 320 and publishes more than 200 papers annually. On Jan. 25, IHME announced that the Gates Foundation had committed to invest $279 million in IHME to expand its work over the next decade. ‘Behind this grant is not simply a decision to continue outstanding research and analysis but also an uncompromising commitment to use health metrics sciences to improve people’s lives,’ said IHME Director Christopher Murray…” (Rubin, 2/4).

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