Intervention complexity: a conceptual framework to inform priority-setting in health

Gericke, Christian A., Kurowski, Christoph, Ranson, M. Kent and Mills, Anne (2005) Intervention complexity: a conceptual framework to inform priority-setting in health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 83 4: 285-293.

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Author Gericke, Christian A.
Kurowski, Christoph
Ranson, M. Kent
Mills, Anne
Title Intervention complexity: a conceptual framework to inform priority-setting in health
Journal name Bulletin of the World Health Organization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0042-9686
Publication date 2005-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 83
Issue 4
Start page 285
End page 293
Total pages 9
Place of publication Geneva, Switzerland
Publisher World Health Organization
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Health interventions vary substantially in the degree of effort required to implement them. To some extent this is apparent in their financial cost, but the nature and availability of non-financial resources is often of similar importance. In particular, human resource requirements are frequently a major constraint. We propose a conceptual framework for the analysis of interventions according to their degree of technical complexity; this complements the notion of institutional capacity in considering the feasibility of implementing an intervention. Interventions are categorized into four dimensions: characteristics of the basic intervention; characteristics of delivery; requirements on government capacity; and usage characteristics. The analysis of intervention complexity should lead to a better understanding of supply- and demand-side constraints to scaling up, indicate priorities for further research and development, and can point to potential areas for improvement of specific aspects of each intervention to close the gap between the complexity of an intervention and the capacity to implement it. The framework is illustrated using the examples of scaling up condom social marketing programmes, and the DOTS strategy for tuberculosis control in highly resource-constrained countries. The framework could be used as a tool for policy-makers, planners and programme managers when considering the expansion of existing projects or the introduction of new interventions. Intervention complexity thus complements the considerations of burden of disease, cost-effectiveness, affordability and political feasibility in health policy decision-making. Reducing the technical complexity of interventions will be crucial to meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals.
Keyword Health priorities/organization and administration
Delivery of health care/organization and administration
Social marketing
Directly observed therapy
HIV infections/prevention and control
Multidrug-resistant/prevention and control
Developing countries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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