Iodine Global Network (IGN)

How to spend $75 billion to make the world a better place [2014]

Lomborg B. How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place. 2nd ed. Copenhagen Consensus Center 2014.

How to Spend $75 Billion To Make The World A Better Place
When it comes to aid spending, political decision-makers often act as if the pool of resources is infinite, and that we should tackle all the world’s problems, right now. Tough choices inevitably must be made – but there are few transparent, practical ways for such spending to be prioritized.

If we can’t solve all the world’s problems today, what should we do first? How can aid spending most effectively improve the lives of the world’s poorest and most afflicted people?

These topics are tackled by How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, featuring the insights of Bjorn Lomborg and dozens of eminent economists. The book presents cutting-edge research to evaluate the costs and benefits of the smartest solutions to twelve global problems, if $75 billion were spent over four years. For example:

The highest ranked solution – meaning that it yields the most benefit for the least cost – is to spend $3 billion over four years, on a bundle of micronutrients and medicines to reduce under-nutrition and improve education in preschool-aged children.
For about $100 per child, this bundle could reduce chronic under-nutrition by 36 percent in developing countries. More than 100 million children could start their lives without stunted growth or malnourishment.

Because these children will lead healthier, more productive lives as adults – a virtuous cycle of dramatic development – each dollar spent addressing chronic under-nutrition has a $30 payoff in economic terms. Ultimately, when all the benefits are translated into economic terms, every dollar spent on malnutrition will likely do $63 worth of global good.

Other top-ranked solutions include expanding malaria treatment (generating $35 in benefits for every dollar spent), immunization for children, and deworming.

Politicians, philanthropists, NGOs, humanitarian agencies, journalists – and anyone who cares deeply about changing the world – will benefit from this enlightening and informative book.