Global aging is leading to a rising chronic disease burden, including in the developing world. Chronic diseases are major causes of poor health, disability and poverty as well as a major barrier to economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the full consequences of chronic diseases requires high-quality longitudinal data on chronic disease and its health and socioeconomic consequences. Healthcare interventions, in turn, may play an important role in mitigating the adverse health and socioeconomic consequences of chronic diseases and stimulating economic development in aging economies.


The key aims of our research project are:

  1. to assess the impact of chronic illness on (a) healthcare use and expenditures (across different settings); (b) work capacity and productivity (in informal economies); (c) socioeconomic outcomes (such as poverty, human capital investments etc.); (d) health and mortality (such as disease progression, disability and death)
  2. to evaluate the role of access to (existing) diagnosis and treatment programs for improving the above outcomes using (quasi-) experimental study designs a full income approach for selected conditions in the different study sites.


Our project will:

  1. provide a comprehensive assessment of financial protection in health (based on longitudinal data that moves beyond just the health domain)
  2. expand the existing knowledge base on the interplay between chronic diseases, the healthcare systems, socio-economic status, and economic development
  3. advance methodological innovations in terms of survey instrument design and use of survey-based diagnostics
  4. provide innovative data infrastructures for the wider research community.
  5. evaluate specific intervention aimed at mitigating the adverse consequences of selected chronic diseases in low- and middle-income settings, which will allow us to estimate the full return on investment for such interventions and guide the design of future chronic disease programs for health policy practice in our partner countries and beyond.

Acknowledgements :
This research project is funded by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d), a joint initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

The purpose of the R4D programme is to strengthen scientific knowledge on global issues for development (poverty, health, conflict). It is unique in that the dissemination aspect of policy relevant knowledge is an integral pillar of the research project along side its scientific objectives. In addition, R4D research projects must devote a significant share of the funding to research institutions in the developing world in order to strengthen academic institutions within partner countries.