The World Bank is the largest financial contributor to health related projects and arguably the most important institution in international health cooperation. The 40th anniversary of the Bank's first loan for health provides a timely moment to examine two questions.
1. What has the Bank contributed to global health over the past 40 years in terms of finance, ideas and networks, and how effective has this contribution been?
2. How has the Bank's increasing involvement as an economic institution transformed how we think about and develop policies to address health?
Our multidisciplinary team is addressing these two questions through a close examination of the Bank's history. We rely on primary sources from the Bank, including interviews with former and current Bank officials and other knowledgeable stakeholders, archival research at the Bank, World Health Organisation and Rockefeller Foundation and relevant secondary source. We are an independent research project funded through a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and supported by an international advisory board.