Success at scale may have many origins. The quickest path is to identify who else has done it, find out how they did it, and adapt their strategy to your own circumstances. Exemplars in Global Health aims to help public health decision makers around the world do exactly this. With input from our in-country and global experts, we analyze countries that have made extraordinary progress in important health outcomes and share the key takeaways. Our hope is that the lessons contained in this growing list of data-driven narratives will be a resource to leaders committed to improving health and finding success in their countries.

Learn more about the vision and voices behind Exemplars in Global Health.

Our methods

Exemplars in Global Health uses all available and globally accepted data sets within an identified time horizon to pinpoint countries that outperformed peers in key areas of public health, controlling for factors like economic growth. Guided by global and in-country experts, we also consider geographic diversity, data availability, and research feasibility to select Exemplar candidates. We then conduct further research and analysis to validate our initial assessment.

We aim to make our selection process transparent and share the data we use to make these decisions.

Guided by an international technical advisory panel of each topic’s leading experts, our research teams conduct a literature review, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis for all Exemplar countries.

Our literature reviews include peer-reviewed journal articles, published reports, impact evaluations, government and non-governmental organization (NGO) strategy and policy documents, and meeting presentations.

Our qualitative analysis includes dozens of in-person interviews with in-country experts who designed, implemented, or have deep first-hand knowledge of the most impactful policies and programs.

Our quantitative analysis includes publicly available health financing, coverage, and outcome data from Demographic and Health Surveys, resources made available to us by ministries of health and other government agencies, annual government reporting, and other globally recognized data collections from partners such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization.

All our research is carefully reviewed by local partners and the technical advisory panel before publication.

For the quantitative analyses, data are not always available or as robust as our methodology and our technical advisors dictate. In cases of missing or low-quality data, we rely on proxies whenever possible.

Time and distance limit our ability to conduct interviews in extremely remote locations, which limits the extent of the qualitative analysis. Sampling across multiple districts in Exemplar countries strengthens the quality of the content, but this is not always feasible.

We see this work as an addition to the robust global discourse on effective programming, not as the final word. We begin with four or five Exemplar counties due to limited resources, but believe that expanding to a broader set will allow for richer cross-country learning.

How can we help?

The Exemplars research program can support your work when you are…

Trying to get up-to-speed on a new issue

Explore the basics of a problem, current data, and how similar
countries have solved this problem. 

Implementing a new program

Pose specific questions on how to plan execution or measure

senior advisory board

Chris Elias

President of Global Development Division
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Donald Kaberuka

Chairman and Managing Partner

Mamta Murthi

Vice President for Human Development
World Bank

Senait Fisseha

Director of Global Programs
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation

Julio Frenk

University of Miami

Peter Piot

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Awa Marie Coll-Seck

Minister of State
Republic of Senegal

CK Mishra

Secretary of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Government of India

Lucy Kimondo

Deputy Director of Population
National Council for Population and Development in Kenya



Team & Community

Exemplars in Global Health is a coalition of experts, funders, and collaborators around the globe, who share the belief that rigorously understanding global health successes can help drive better resource allocation, policy, and implementation decisions.

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