has announced the first cohort of countries to receive technical assistance and funding through its $100 million initiative.
Launched in 2015 in partnership with the , the four-year initiative aims to improve health data in low- and middle-income countries by helping them gather accurate data about the health of their citizens. With a collective population of nearly a billion people, the first eighteen partner countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, China (with a focus on Shanghai), Ecuador, Ghana, India (focus on Mumbai), Indonesia, Malawi, Morocco, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Zambia.
In each country, the initiative will be guided by government priorities, with a focus on finding innovative ways aimed at helping countries improve how health data are collected and used. A special focus will be placed on improving death certification to understand causes of death, training in data analysis, and the use of mobile phones for health surveys. In addition to funding in-country staff, the initiative will support the sharing of best practices by connecting country staff with global health networks.
Bloomberg Philanthropies and the government of Australia are working on the initiative in collaboration with a variety of public health agencies, including the , the , , , the , the , the , and the .
"Improving the availability and accuracy of global health data is one of the greatest opportunities we have to help people live longer, healthier lives," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg. "The more we know about causes of death and illness, the better we can target resources and measure progress."