Methodology

The Antares Health Priorities Matrix

We created the Antares Health Priorities Matrix to facilitate priority setting in global health. The Antares Matrix identifies key objectives and takes quantitative account of them in light of available data and research literature to deliver a ranked set of focal health areas. It offers decision-makers an evidence-based, context-specific, and transparent algorithm for distinguishing health problems in terms of their importance.

How it works

A Matrix takes two inputs, a priority profile and a dataset, and outputs a ranked list of health conditions for a particular setting.

How it works

Health Conditions

The starting point for the Antares Matrix is a list of health conditions that one might potentially want to address. The Antares tool is populated with a list of health conditions as defined by the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease Database. Thus, users have the option of selecting very specific health conditions to prioritize (e.g. pertussis) or aggregated categories (e.g. childhood cluster diseases).

Datasets

A dataset is a collection of known and imputed statistics for specific health conditions in a geographic location. Users can elect either to create their own datasets or to use a dataset created by the Project Antares team. Datasets contain information on five distinct domains (see below).

Priority Profiles

Each health condition in the Matrix is scored on the basis of data on the size of the problem and literature on its social and economic consequences. Scores are assigned in relation to each of the following five factors:

  1. Scale of Disease: how much disability and death is caused by the health condition?
  2. Household Financial Effects: to what extent does the condition perpetuate or worsen poverty?
  3. Social Equity: how disproportionate is the effect of the condition on vulnerable groups like women and children?
  4. Cost-Effectiveness: are relatively cost-effective solutions available? and
  5. Spillover Effects: to what extent does the condition trigger other health conditions (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease) or health or social problems among other people (e.g., infectious disease or social stigma)?

Users can assign their own weights to each of the aforementioned criteria and to the common health conditions or they can rely on expert opinion and choose priority profiles that are already loaded into the Matrix system.

Priority profiles have an accompanying visual representation that resembles a star. Each color in the graphic represents one of the aforementioned categories. The length of the arm in the star for any given category shows the proportional ranking of that category as compared to the others.

Output

Once a user selects a set of health conditions, an accompanying dataset, and a preference profile, the tool will generate a list of the 10 highest-priority health conditions for the given setting. These “Antares Top 10” are the conditions for which effective solutions can have large-scale impact on health in a given geographic area.

Read our briefing note to learn more.