Cost effectiveness and strategic planning (WHO-CHOICE)


The CHOICE (CHOosing Interventions that are Cost-Effective) project is a WHO initiative developed in 1998 with the objective of providing policy makers with evidence for deciding on interventions and programmes which maximize health for the available resources.

Value for money and efficiency are fundamental considerations guiding investment in health, and WHO-CHOICE provides a way to measure them. This is true in settings where lack of finance is no longer the greatest barrier to achieving better health outcomes; it is also true in less well-resourced settings, where inefficiency is measured in lives lost and human suffering.

Cost effectiveness analysis supports priority setting by defining areas of action where the greatest health gains can be achieved. As such, it is directly related to Universal Health Coverage. It is moreover an important prerequisite to achieving universal coverage, since shifting from a less to a more cost-effective set of health activities is equivalent to raising new finance.

Generalized cost-effectiveness analysis (WHO-CHOICE) also allows the definition of an optimal set of interventions, taking into account setting-specific factors such as the burden of disease, health system practice, and economic conditions. Tools to facilitate country-level cost-effectiveness analysis of a wide range of health activities are available. In parallel, WHO-CHOICE publishes and disseminates on line a knowledge base of regional-level cost-effectiveness information.


  • Health Systems Financing
    Cost-effectiveness analysis and its implementation via CHOICE is part of health systems financing.