The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) began in 1991 sponsored by the World Bank and the World Health Organization to fill a critical gap in global health information. It has grown steadily to become an active collaboration of more than 8000 scientists, researchers and policy-makers from 156 countries working together to quantify health at the national and subnational level. The GBD provides a highly standardized approach for tackling the many challenges in producing a comprehensive assessment of health overtime. The issues that need to be addressed or at least reckoned with include missing data, inconsistent case definitions, diverse instruments and assays, conflicting data, and exclusion of disadvantaged groups from administrative data. The GBD has led to new and constantly evolving approaches for correcting for bias and data synthesis. The study has generated nearly 2000 publications in the peer-reviewed literature and wide policy impact; nevertheless, it continues to generate controversy. The GBD has many limitations and ongoing developments hope to address some of these limitations. This lecture will draw some general lessons learned from three decades of the GBD both on the analysis of global health and communicating results to decision-makers.
Speaker: Christopher Murray, University of Washington
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