As global leaders are set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later this month, PATH joined a group of leading global health organizations in commissioning a report that calls for the United Nations (UN) and its Member States to strengthen the SDG health targets by including indicators to measure global health research and development (R&D) progress. The report–Measuring global health R&D for the post-2015 development agenda–includes a short list of recommended global health R&D indicators for inclusion in the global and national SDG monitoring frameworks.
The report underscores the critical link between global health R&D and achieving the SDGs. It notes that the SDGs include ambitious targets for reducing child and maternal deaths and ending the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, but existing global strategies that align with these targets clearly acknowledge they cannot be achieved without the development and delivery of new and improved drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health tools. While the SDGs include a means of implementation target (target 3.b) to support R&D for vaccines and medicines for diseases primarily impacting developing countries, none of the official UN indicator proposals include any indicators to measure progress on the global health R&D needed to meet this and other health targets.
To fill this gap and ensure the SDGs generate the innovations needed to reach the health targets, the report proposes three indicators to measure global health R&D for inclusion in the SDG global monitoring framework, as well as five additional indicators countries are encouraged to include in their national monitoring frameworks if appropriate for their circumstances. These indicators were recommended based on an extensive landscaping and consultative process to identify health R&D indicators and further analysis to refine this list based on feasibility, level of community endorsement, appropriateness, and cross-cutting potential.
The report was prepared by Policy Cures and commissioned by the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), PATH, and the TB Alliance to inform stakeholders of the importance of including robust indicators for global health R&D and advise on the most suitable indicators for inclusion.
Posted September 8, 2015.