05 August 2008

Copenhagen Consesus Ranking: Doing Good Efficiently

Recently a group of five Nobel laureates and three distinguished economists came together to answer the question: "if we had, say, an extra $75 billion to spend, where could we achieve the most good?"

For each issue examined, thy focused on benefits relative to costs. The latest Doha round just collapsed (again) and some are happy... but it ranked second in this. So what's #1? Climate Change? Nope that came last. Micronutrients is their #1.

In summary, their top-ranked solutions were in areas that we don’t hear much about, "unglamorous interventions". Certainly inspiration to look deeper... Read on here and their ranking below.

Copenhagen Consesus Ranking 2008:
1. Micronutrient supplements for children (vitamin A and zinc)
2. The Doha development agenda
3. Micronutrient fortification (iron and salt iodization)
4. Expanded immunization coverage for children
5. Improving agricultural technology
6. De-worming and other school-based nutrition programs
7. Lowering the price of schooling
8. Increasing and improving girls’ education by paying mothers to send them to school
9. Community-based nutrition promotion
10. Support for women’s reproductive role to reduce gender inequity
11. Low-cost heart attack drugs for developing countries
12. Malaria prevention and treatment
13. Tuberculosis identification and treatment
14. R&D in low-carbon energy technologies to combat global warming
15. Bio-sand filters for household water treatment
16. Pumps and wells to improve water coverage in rural areas
17. Conditional cash transfers to increase the number of children receiving education
18. Peace-keeping in post-conflict situations to reduce the risk of civil war
19. HIV “combination” prevention package
20. Total sanitation campaign to reduce the number of “open defecation” areas
21. Improving surgical capacity at district hospital level
22. Microfinance to women to reduce gender inequity
23. Improved stove intervention to reduce indoor air pollution
24. Large, multipurpose dam in Africa to improve water coverage
25. Inspection and maintenance of diesel vehicles to reduce outdoor air pollution
26. Low-sulfur diesel for urban road vehicles to reduce outdoor air pollution
27. Diesel vehicle particulate control technology to reduce outdoor air pollution
28. Tobacco tax to reduce heart disease and cancer
29. A package of R&D and mitigation to combat global warming
30. Mitigation of carbon emissions to reduce global warming