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 areā€¦

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. 

Implementinga new program

Pose specific questions on how to plan execution or measure


Margaret Chan
Dr. Margaret Chan
Inaugural Dean of the Vanke School of Public Health at Tsinghua University China and Emeritus Director General of the World Health Organization
   Donald Kaberuka
Dr. Donald Kaberuka
Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge
and Emeritus President of the African Development Bank
   Senait Fisseha
Dr. Senait Fisseha
Director of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and Chief Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization
   Julio Frenk
Dr. Julio Frenk
President of the University of Miami
Chris Elias
Dr. Chris Elias
President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
   Mamta Murthi
Dr. Mamta Murthi
Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank
   Peter Piot
Pr. Peter Piot
Director of the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine
Partners for emerging topics (e.g., Epidemic Preparedness and Response, COVID-19) are listed on their respective pages.

Team & Community

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

Stay in touch with Exemplars in global health 

Sign up for updates on topics of interest to you