Description: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and diarrheal disease are the four biggest contributors to the burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa and represent a serious constraint on economic growth. They kill nearly 4 million African adults and children annually. Readings from the public health, economic and medical literature will focus on the main debates surrounding policy interventions to combat these diseases. The class will examine and evaluate the evidence on the nature of these diseases and the effectiveness of current interventions in Africa and other parts of the developing world. Through class discussion, small group exercises and writing assignments, students will hone their skills in policy and economic analysis. For the final project, students will develop policy recommendations for governments of developing countries on a global health issue of their choice.
Course Goals: The goal of this course is to introduce students to some major challenges in health policy to address infectious disease in developing countries and provide them with analytical and economic tools to gather evidence, interpret evidence, devise policy recommendations and communicate clearly.
Competencies: Domain A: Measurement and Analysis
A.1 Identify appropriate sources and gather information, effectively and efficiently.
A.2 Appraise literature and data critically.
A.5 Statistical analysis: Understand and apply basic statistical methods relevant to public health practice.
A.6 Policy analysis: Understand the policy-making process and the role of politics; assess a problem and identify and compare potential policy solutions; and understand and critically assess methods to evaluate policy impact.
A.7 Economic analysis: Use basic microeconomic theory to understand how the incentives of consumers, providers, and payers affect behaviors, costs, and other outcomes; understand and apply basic econometric tools for the empirical study of issues in health economics.
Domain B: Communication
B.1 Convey: Speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations; prepare cogent business presentations; facilitate an effective group process.*
B.2 Listen: Receive, process, and respond appropriately to information conveyed by others.
B.3 Interact: Perceive and respond appropriately to the spoken, unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns of others.*
Domain C: Leadership
C.6 Impact and Influence: Persuade and convince others, both individuals and groups, to support a point of view, position, or recommendation.*
Learning Objectives: At the completion of this course, students will be expected to:
1. Become familiar with sources of evidence on the effectiveness and appropriateness of policy interventions.
2. Be able to discern reliable sources of evidence and identify limitations of the evidence.
3. Develop skills in using economic concepts to support specific policy interventions.
4. Develop skills in determining appropriate health policy interventions.
5. Develop skills in articulating and advocating policy positions through written submissions and in-class discussion.