Dr. Stephen Resch is the Deputy Director of the Center for Health Decision Science and a Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy and Management. He also serves as Deputy Chair of the HSPH Comparative Effectiveness Research Initiative.
Dr. Resch is committed to advancing the use of decision analytic approaches in health policymaking and health program management. He frequently works with policymakers and practitioners to undertake systematic assessment of options that enhance the evidence-base for strategic decisions. Dr. Resch’s projects often focuses on synthesizing or generating evidence related to cost and impacts of various policy options to directly inform decisions of national governments and bilateral and multilateral aid organizations. Often this work involves the development or use of ‘mechanistic’ computer-based models used to simulate the outcomes of alternative policy options and estimate their health and economic consequences. When done well, the use of such tools provides decision makers with clear insights regarding trade-offs inherent to the decisions they face as well as quantitative estimates of the uncertainty in the problems they face.
Stephen Resch has conducted health economic research on a wide range of topics: policy modeling of maternal health interventions in Nigeria (PI: Sue Goldie, Sponsor: MacArthur Foundation) and Ethiopia (PI: Stephen Resch, Sponsor: CDC/PEPFAR), cost-effectiveness of a large randomized trial of WHO’s Safe Childbirth Checklist currently underway in Uttar Pradesh, India (PI: Atul Gawande, Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and cost-effectiveness of approximately 40 childhood obesity interventions in the US (PI: Steve Gortmaker, Sponsor: JPB Foundation). Currently, Dr. Resch is leading work updating estimates of HIV care costs at clinical sites in Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, India, and Brazil for the CEPAC HIV/AIDS policy modeling project (PI: Ken Freedberg Sponsor: NIH NIAID).
Dr. Resch served as the technical lead for research commissioned by the US Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to assess spending on HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa and the potential for increased domestic contribution to fill resource gaps. He also provided technical assistance to the revision of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s policies on eligibility, prioritization and counterpart financing, and development of its New Funding Model for allocating GFATM resources across disease areas and countries.
Dr. Resch works with the Pan American Health Organization’s ProVac Initiative on the development of spreadsheet-based tools for cost- and cost-effectiveness analysis of new vaccines and screening technologies. He often participates in in-country applications of these tools—most recently in Honduras—on a project estimating the cost of the national immunization program, as part of a multi-country immunization costing and financing study (EPIC) commissioned and coordinated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He teaches intermediate-level course at HSPH on economic evaluation of health programs which covers the theory and methods of conducting cost- and cost-effectiveness analysis, emphasizing persistent controversies in the field through case studies and in-class exercises.
This course features case studies in the application of health decision science to policymaking and program management at various levels of the health system. Both developed and developing country contexts will be covered. Topics include:  theoretical foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA);  controversies and limitations of CEA in practice;  design and implementation of tools and protocols for measurement and valuation of cost and benefit of health programs;  integration of evidence of economic value into strategic planning and resource allocation decisions, performance monitoring and program evaluation;  the role of evidence of economic value in the context of other stakeholder criteria and political motivations.