Country health officials and donors now realize that good health system governance at all levels is necessary to ensure that resources devoted to health care achieve their intended results. Weaknesses in health governance, including a lack of transparency or civil society engagement, threaten to undermine the effective use of funds, particularly as global programs target huge amounts of funding for specific diseases.
Abt Associates approaches health governance from a holistic perspective as an integral part of health system performance. We work to ensure that ministries of health (and related institutions such as national health insurance schemes) are effective and efficient, but also recognize the critical role of legislative bodies, executive authorities, ministries of finance and planning, and accounting and audit bodies. We understand that governance issues are not limited to these central functions, but also must involve sub-national authorities, particularly in decentralized settings, health provider governance responsibilities, civil society, and the private sector.
Abt leads the Health Finance and Governance project, USAID’s global flagship health systems strengthening project, designed to support countries in both the supply and demand for good governance of health systems. Enhancing management systems and accountability mechanisms will improve the performance of public health systems. At the same time, increased capacities for oversight institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector to monitor performance and demand information will create new incentives for government action.
ETHIOPIA / CÔTE D’IVOIRE / SENEGAL: What are the best indicators of a country’s potential to achieve Universal Health Coverage?
A health system where everyone has access to the health services they need and can take advantage of them without risk of financial impoverishment is a critical component of sustainable development for African nations. To help policy makers define, measure and monitor their countries’ progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Health Finance and Governance Project, led by Abt Associates, conducted rigorous case studies in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Senegal gathering stakeholder and partners’ views regarding the relevance of current indicators and analyzing each country’s capacity to provide the information. The findings are being used to determine best practices, inform a set of proposed UHC indicators for the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals and generate donor support of country efforts to achieve UHC.
CLIENT: USAID / PROJECT: Health Finance and Governance