Objectivity in Priority Setting Tools in Reproductive Health: Context and the DALY
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Allotey, P.A. and Reidpath, D.D. (2002) ‘Objectivity in priority setting tools in reproductive health: context and the daly’, Reproductive Health Matters, 10(20), pp. 38–46. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0968-8080(02)00075-7.
The Disability Adjusted Life-Year (DALY) heralded a new age in the development of an evidence base for priority setting and resource allocation. The DALY was intended to represent sound measurement of the incidence and prevalence of conditions in a process by which burden of disease would be determined, health conditions prioritised and interventions evaluated. However, in the reification of objectivity, sight was lost of critical aspects of health and disease, namely that they are not independent of the context in which they occur. This is powerfully illustrated by many reproductive health conditions. Priority setting and resource allocation exercises need to take into account both objective measures and contextually relevant factors. Based on comparative data that highlights the effect of the development gradient on the burden of disease, this paper discusses the implications of context in the assessment of population health and priority setting, with a focus on reproductive health.