Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting, BCEPS

Bergen Research Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Norwegian Government, and the University of Bergen announce the establishment of Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting, BCEPS.

The new centre at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, arises out of an investment over the past 5 years from The Norwegian Government to develop new methods for evaluating health interventions and establishing priorities in global health and the extension and expansion of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project “Disease Control Priorities – Ethiopia (2017-2020)”.

This initiative also marks the first collaboration between the two foundations in translating the long-term investment in “Disease Control Priorities” into on-the-ground health effects for the people in Ethiopia, Malawi and Zanzibar.

The Bergen Research Foundation will support the initiative with ca 4 mUSD. The Norwegian Government will support the initiative with 3.8 mUSD. In addition, the University of Bergen, Norway, will co-fund with 3.4 mUSD. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has previously supported the initiative (2017-2020) with a total of 3 mUSD, bringing the total funding to over 14 mUSD.

Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Malawi
BCEPS will extend its work on Disease Control Priorities in Ethiopia (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), with support from the newly established Addis Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting in Ethiopia, to Zanzibar and Malawi. BCEPS will provide capacity strengthening and help define and implement a highest priority package for non-communicable diseases and injuries in Zanzibar and an essential surgery package in Malawi. “In all activities, the implementation will be monitored on three expected outcomes: better health, reduced inequity, and improved financial risk protection”, says the new Director, professor Ole Frithjof Norheim at the University of Bergen and Harvard University.

Although these are among the world’s poorest countries, they invest in health and have seen substantial health improvements in the last decade. The Centre will help translate best evidence on what works to better health policies that not only save lives but also reduce poverty. Key partners include Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, University of Washington, and the World Health Organization.

Unique Group – Important Decision Support
– The Bergen group is unique because it combines advanced research in ethics and economics with local capacity building for better impact on the ground, says Damian Walker, Deputy Director of Data and Analytics at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

– Decision support to the government agencies of developing countries can help countries accelerate their achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, says Austen Davis, Senior Advisor, NORAD.

– An international partnership between funders for supporting research on priority setting is most welcome, both in Norway and globally, says John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive of the Research Council of Norway

Bringing Together Resources and Excellent Research
– To strengthen this important work by establishing BCEPS with home base at the University of Bergen, we play in concert with the strategic priorities of the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Government. When we can bring together resources and excellent research to improve health for people in need, we are doing something right, says Sveinung Hole, CEO of Bergen Research Foundation.


Photo Caption:
Professor Ole Frithjof Norheim will lead the new Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen.
Photo: Kim E. Andreassen, UiB

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