1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Inequality and Distribution in Health Care: Analytical Issues for Developmental Social Policy (Draft)



This paper contends that there is a need for more and better political economy of social policy in the development context, and seeks to contribute to its development. Specifically, the paper discusses the problem of achieving and sustaining redistributive health care in contexts of inequality and low incomes. Much of the evidence and specific argument are drawn from the health sector in Africa, and in particular from recent research on health care markets in Tanzania. The arguments employed by the authors have wider resonance for the effort to create effective, context-specific developmental social policy and employ a broad definition of ‘social policy’, to include governmental and non-governmental public action to shape social provisioning such as health and education, including influencing the distributive outcomes of social sector market processes. Indeed, it is argued that understanding the mutual interaction of public policy and market behaviour is key to designing effective developmental policy in health care as in other social sectors.

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