United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Analysis of The Political Economy of Health, Particularly Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, in Four Countries of South and East Asia
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Social and economic development processes involve much more than technocratic approaches: ‘political economy’1 factors usually determine the fate of reforms (2-13). More specifically,knowledge on how and why governments make and implement decisions;prioritise the allocation of scarce financial and human resources;resolve trade-offs;regulate the private sector; achieve accountability, and interact with civil society and development. Knowing how governments use or don't evidence to shape policies and prioritise the use of their own scarce resources is increasingly important. That is particularly true as more and more countries achieve middle income status2, albeit with large burdens of poverty (14), and as aid programs become progressively smaller. The impact of political economy factors is particularly important to understand in post conflict or “fragile” situations
as in Nepal and Bangladesh, respectively. That is because conflict affects health and particularly reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) outcomes both directly by disrupting basic services, and indirectly by preventing economic growth. On the other hand, governments that effectively and visibly deliver essential social services have stronger political legitimacy (15-19).Understanding the political economy of RMNCH is a particularly important issue. That is partly because there remains a large but preventable RMNCH burden globally, including in Asia and the Pacific, where 2.5 million children aged under five died in 2013, 41% of the global burden (20). It is also important because proven, affordable, interventions that dramatically improve RMNCH outcomes were successfully implemented at scale in some low income Asian countries decades ago (21).Political economy analysis can provide insights into these issues for the benefit of governments and their development partners.
UNICEF ,   (2015 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Thematic Group:
 UNICEF : Children Fund
10.02.00  -  Comprehensive Health Services
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