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Objectives and methods of a world health survey

Trudy Harpham and Ian Timaeus

No 13, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Many developing countries are trying to improve the routine collection of health information by strengthening surveys, censuses, and registration systems. At the international level, too, efforts are underway to provide information on health and health interventions, including statistical reporting programs of the U.N. and the World Bank. In view of the limited financial resources in the developing countries, would a world health survey complement these health information systems and contribute to long-term health care? This paper finds that although a series of coordinated country health studies could be valuable, there are many tradeoffs. Considering the variety of health problems and priorities in developing countries, it is probably more important to develop the expertise to conduct and analyze health studies than to devise a standard questionnaire to collect health data. As for the cost effectiveness of health programs, a world health survey is not the appropriate vehicle for such evaluations, but it could address such concerns as access, coverage, patient costs, and financing systems.

Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems; Housing&Human Habitats; Gender and Health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1988-06-30
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