A new initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide decision-makers with improved resources to estimate the costs of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programs. This initiative, the Global Health Cost Consortium (GHCC), is a three-year project, launching in January 2016. Its goal is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of HIV and TB prevention and treatment. The cost consortium will thus drive ever-greater value for money of investments to tackle HIV and TB in low and middle-income countries.

The consortium is led by the University of Washington (UW) and includes teams at Avenir Health, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (INSP), and the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT). These partners are leaders in large-scale HIV and TB cost studies and in the development of models designed to translate economic and epidemiologic data to inform policies and programs.

Sound global health policy depends on valid information on the cost of treatment and prevention programs, and how these costs vary over time by country, sub-populations, and service delivery modalities. GHCC establishes a cost consortium to improve the availability, quality, timing, and thus the policy-relevance of cost information. The consortium will extract, collate and analyze existing cost data sets in order to provide accessible cost estimates of HIV and TB services; identify data gaps; and produce standards, guidance and methods for high quality and efficient cost data collection. A publicly accessible website will provide cost data adapted to specific settings, as well as resources to improve cost data over time.

The consortium will engage a broad audience of users and interact with existing HIV and TB economic and modeling groups through stakeholder forums. The consortium, with support from Dalberg, a mission-driven strategy-consulting firm focused exclusively on international development and global health, will also work directly with global stakeholders, such as the Global Fund, PEPFAR and the WHO, to ensure that GHCC resources are designed in close alignment with user needs. This inclusive approach will ensure that its products serve the global health policy community, program managers, and researchers.