All of them calculate the costs and benefits of their proposed solutions and will compete to convince a panel of five world-class economists, including three Nobel laureates, that they have the very best solutions. The Nobel Laureates' findings will point to the most effective avenues for additional funding. This approach, the "Copenhagen Consensus" process, is the same one that has been applied every four years to global challenges, and will next take place in 2012.
The premise is simple: No dollar can be spent twice. A billion dollars spent on one set of approaches can't be spent elsewhere. So where is it best to spend more first? Often, this simple question is not asked, because doing so means choosing between many popular strategies, each with its own base of enthusiastic supporters.
By highlighting the effectiveness of some options—or pointing to policy choices that require further research—the new research and Nobel laureate findings can assist donors and catalyze optimal choices about where funding should go.
Thirty years after the discovery of HIV/AIDS, we have seen impressive scientific and policy advances. But HIV/AIDS remains a daily threat to millions, stunts development, and destroys far too many lives. With attention and money flagging, it is vital that we step up our fight against this disease by adding lessons from cost-benefit analysis to our arsenal.
Read this article at Project Syndicate.