DRM Collaborative Seminar Series

JLN Network Manager


DRM collaborative‘s Health Taxes Seminar Series and The Financial Protection in Health Seminar Series

DRM Collaborative Health Taxes Seminar Series

The JLN DRM collaborative Health Taxes Seminar Series (HTSS) began in 2020 as countries responded to COVID-19 while considering revenue mobilization efforts that could sustain their long term health agendas. The series explores the potential of health taxes as a fiscal measure in meeting shortfalls in government revenues for financing health and as an instrument to maximize health gains from reduced consumption of harmful products.
Details of sessions held under the Health Taxes Seminar Series can be found below.

DRM Collaborative Financial Protection In Health Seminar Series

The JLN DRM collaborative Financial Protection in Health Seminar Series (FPHSS) was formally launched in August 2022. The series will present latest research on the conceptualization, empirical measurement, and policies of financial protection in health.
Details of sessions held under the Financial Protection in Health Seminar Series can be found below.

Please click here to learn more about the JLN DRM Collaborative, the Practitioner Perspectives blog post series, and the Health Financing Technical Initiative.

The JLN DRM Collaborative Financial Protection in Health Seminar Series (FPHSS)

August 2022 The role of private sector pharmacies in financial hardship in India: a health system analysis in the state of Odisha

This session focused on a health system analysis of the causes of high catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) in the state of Odisha in India. The session included a discussion of the broader approach to health systems analysis used in India Health Systems Reform Project, which emphasizes the systemic nature of the underlying causes of health system performance and the importance of the interactions between public and private actors.

The JLN DRM Collaborative Health Taxes Seminar Series (HTSS)

April 2023, Sustainable (and sufficient) financing for health care in Asia-Pacific as populations age

Countries in Asia-Pacific are facing rapid aging due to rising life expectancy and falling birth rates. While longer lives are a major achievement, they also raise several policy concerns related to health financing. For example, health care needs may rise as populations age, which can accelerate growth in health care expenditures. While much of the academic and political discourse about aging and health financing focuses on these effects on health expenditure, the ability to generate revenues for health may also be affected by population aging. For example, some analysis suggests that economic growth may slow as populations age due to fewer working-age people and possibly lower productivity of older workers. Aging is therefore of particular concern in countries that depend heavily on payroll-based taxes or social insurance contributions as these are more susceptible to changes in population age structure (compared to property and consumption taxes), due to the shrinking workforce. To better understand the implications of population aging for health financing and as an entry point to support countries in developing effective policy responses in light of the policy concerns outlined above, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies along with the World Health Organization Kobe Centre developed a simple macro simulation tool: the Population Aging Financial Sustainability Gap for Health Systems (PASH) Simulator. The PASH Simulator uses population projections and information on current public health care expenditures and revenues to estimate the per person financing gap (deficit or surplus) that will arise from the effects of population aging under no policy changes. The PASH Simulator can then be used to explore different policy scenarios and their effects on the financing gap in each country. In this seminar, we will make use of the PASH Simulator to explore the potential effects of population aging for health financing across a selection of countries in Asia-Pacific and consider policy options.

March, 2023, Global Coverage and Design of Taxes on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB): Introducing the Global SSB Tax Database

In the current fiscal environment, SSB taxes are of interest to policymakers for their potential to improve population health, increase productivity, and raise revenue. Yet compared to longer-standing tobacco and alcohol taxes, SSB taxes are seen as the newer kid on the health tax block and perceptions like those above are common. Indeed, identifying best practice in the design of SSB taxes has been stymied by a paucity of data on current practice. Existing data sources are designed to track implementation rather than support comparative analyses and, as such, lack detailed data on tax design. To address this gap, the World Bank is launching a new Global SSB Tax Database – an open-access resource for researchers and policymakers containing standardized data on all verified SSB taxes worldwide. The database contains detailed information on tax policy designs, including tax instrument, type, and structure, products covered and exempt, tax rates, date of implementation and updates, and links to official legislation. A linked paper summarizes the main findings from the database, providing a hitherto missing picture of global coverage in SSB taxes and current practice in design.

 August 2022, From a Pile to a Pinch: Emerging Approaches to Reduce Salt Intake

Is your country facing rising noncommunicable diseases, pressing health expenditures, and skyrocketing rates of hypertension? Join us to hear about a diverse range of interventions that address the primary driver of disability and disease in most places: salt. More than 99% of adults worldwide consume more than the recommended amount of salt per day. One third of hypertension cases globally are attributed to excessive salt consumption. Reducing salt intake is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve population health, save lives, and make the best use of existing health resources, and can even generate additional revenue. We will explore emerging approaches to population-level interventions to reduce salt intake, including warning labels and scaling up substitutes that households can use instead of salt. Cutting-edge research and pioneering country policies will be presented to examine the growing evidence base, potential impacts, and lessons learned for these approaches. This event is co-hosted by the Joint Learning Network and Nutrition Global Solutions Group.

March 2022, Modelling the impact of SSB tax on health and beyond: the role of modelled analysis in shaping pro-health fiscal policies 

This webinar focused on the role of evidence; how health and other impacts of SSB tax are modelled and the potential application of such models. Findings from a recent World Bank research that modelled the potential impact of SSB tax on health and revenue in two South Asian countries were presented (Pakistan and Sri Lanka), followed by a case study from South Africa on how an OECD model was used as a “live tool” to shape the SSB tax policy with its counterpart. Country discussants elaborated on the potential role of evidence in pushing the SSB tax policy forward and reflected on their own country experiences. 

December 2021, Let’s not sugarcoat this: Overcoming opposition to a tax on sugary drinks

This seminar presented recent research into industry opposition against one of the earliest sugary drinks taxes in Mexico The evidence for two of the most critical arguments against SSB taxes was examined: do they hurt business and are they regressive? Finally, policymakers from countries that have been both successful and unsuccessful in introducing these taxes reflected on how to effectively overcome opposition.

September 23, 2021 Bottoms Up: Alcohol Policy to Raise Revenue and Protect Health

This seminar examined the case for alcohol policy reforms in low-and-middle-income countries to boost population health and expand fiscal space, including as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 20, 2021 Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages in the USA: Implications for optimal design

Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages have been adopted in many countries worldwide as a response to a rising prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related chronic disease. These taxes are relatively recent, so their effects remain imperfectly understood. This seminar will provide an overview of an innovative research program to estimate the effects of SSB taxes in numerous cities of the United States, with a focus on their impacts on retail prices, purchases, and consumption. Implications for the optimal design of such taxes will be discussed.

April 2021, COVID-19 Vaccine Financing: A Domestic Resource Mobilization Perspective

International experts from the health sector gave an overview of the impact of the pandemic of vaccine financing in the East Asia Pacific region. Discussions by country experts provided context for country vaccine strategies and the budgetary considerations and challenges faced in the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine financing.

December 2020, Implementing Universal Health Coverage: Lessons learnt from other Asian Countries for Pakistan

Experts from Pakistan gave an overview of the Sehat Sahulat Program and country experts from Indonesia and India discussed their experiences and challenges with providing coverage to the informal sector; designing a fiscally sustainable benefit packages, and improving the quality of health service provision.

November 2020, Conceptualizing and Measuring Financial Protection

With the latest 2021 edition of the World Bank’s Health Equity and Financial Protection Indicators (HEFPI) currently in production, the HEFPI team introduced the conceptual underpinnings and discuss the indicators used for tracking financial protection worldwide. Speakers summarized results from the 2019 Global Monitoring Report and provide an overview of the micro- and macro-level databases and analytical tools (e.g. HEFPI data visualization portal, ADePT, and Stata’s FPRO command) that can be used by participants to create their own financial protection analyses. Country discussants provided a country-specific context for utilizing the measurement tools, trends and policies around financial protection.

August 2020 Pro-Poor Earmarking of Health Taxes for Domestic Resource Mobilization
The webinar discussed issues related to the what, why, and how of pro-poor earmarking of revenues from health taxes. The webinar also discussed examples of how ‘soft’ earmarks are being implemented across selected countries and identify lessons learnt.
July 2020 Filling the Coffers Post-Covid through Pro-Health taxes

This seminar discussed how the recent COVID-19 Pandemic is presenting an opportunity for countries to consider ramping up pro-health taxes – taxes on goods and services that have harmful health effects such as on tobacco, alcohol, sugar-sweetened beverages, and carbon emissions – and to remove subsidies on fossil fuels.

If you would like to learn about upcoming events, please email [email protected] to be added to the distribution list. 


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