Copenhagen Consensus 2008

Over the last 2 years, many of the world’s top economists, including 5 Nobel Laureates, ranked 30 high-impact solutions to address the world’s greatest challenges. The panel estimates there is a $17 return for every dollar invested into these solutions, in terms of reduced medical expenses and significantly increased earnings.

At the top of the list is providing micronutrient supplements for children (esp. vitamin A and zinc), meaning that the panel of economist that formed the Copenhagen Consensus believe that providing vitamin supplements is the most cost-effective way that the world can improve the state of our planet. Complying with the Doha development agenda would be the second, and so on down to 30. Malnutrition tops the list, with 5 solutions in the top 10, with education and women next. Diseases of the developing world are of course high priorities, but perhaps more surprisingly, so is acute care for heart attacks. 7 entries for global warming and air pollution are also on the list.

These solutions provide a great template for planning cost-effective, high-impact, and globally relevant interventions. The development community would do well to focus on these.

Read more about each of these solutions at  Copenhagen Consensus 2008.

 
Solution
Challenge
1
Micronutrient supplements for children (vitamin A and zinc)
Malnutrition
2
The Doha development agenda
Trade
3
Micronutrient fortification (iron and salt iodization)
Malnutrition
4
Expanded immunization coverage for children
Diseases
5
Biofortification
Malnutrition
6
Deworming and other nutrition programs at school
Malnutrition & Education
7
Lowering the price of schooling
Education
8
Increase andimprove girls’ schooling
Women
9
Community-based nutrition promotion
Malnutrition
10
Provide support for women’s reproductive role
Women
11
Heart attack acute management
Diseases
12
Malaria prevention and treatment
Diseases
13
Tuberculosis case finding and treatment
Diseases
14
R&D in low-carbon energy technologies
Global Warming
15
Bio-sand filters for household water treatment
Water
16
Rural water supply
Water
17
Conditional cash transfers
Education
18
Peace-keepingin post‐conflict situations
Conflicts
19
HIV combination prevention
Diseases
20
Total sanitation campaign
Water
21
Improving surgical capacity at district hospital level
Diseases
22
Microfinance
Women
23
Improved stove intervention
Air Pollution
24
Large, multipurpose dam in Africa
Water
25
Inspection and maintenance of diesel vehicles
Air Pollution
26
Low sulfur diesel for urban road vehicles
Air Pollution
27
Diesel vehicle particulate control technology
Air Pollution
28
Tobacco tax
Diseases
29
R&D and mitigation
Global Warming
30
Mitigation only
Global Warming
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