Development partners and governments are increasing their emphasis on improving accountability and transparency of health systems, strengthening country policies and institutions to move towards universal health coverage (UHC). However, there is an overall lack of evidence and understanding of the dynamics of how improved governance can influence health system performance and health outcomes, and what governance interventions are appropriate for different contexts. This evidence gap can result in avoidance of health governance efforts or a reliance on a limited set of governance interventions.
To address this evidence gap, USAID’s Office of Health Systems (USAID/GH/OHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project hosted a one-day kick-off workshop to launch the Marshalling the Evidence for Governance Contributions to Health System Performance and Health Outcomes Initiative in September 2016. The workshop brought together almost 50 health governance experts from USAID (OHS, the Center of Excellence for Democracy, Rights and Governance, and the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment), WHO, the World Bank, and academic and implementing partners.
The workshop: (1) presented a framework for health governance and shared knowledge of ongoing efforts to generate evidence of health governance contributions to health; (2) established four thematic working groups (TWGs) to conduct and synthesize reviews of scientific evidence and tacit knowledge; and (3) agreed on the goals for the Fall 2017 culmination event. More information can be found in the Workshop Summary Report.
Fall 2017 Health Governance Event in Washington, DC
USAID and WHO, with support from HFG, will host a two-day event to share the findings of the four TWGs. The event will provide a forum for health policy practitioners, researchers, and policy advisors to present findings, review results, introduce new approaches, and discuss new partnerships for health governance activities.
Thematic Working Groups
The four TWGs launched at the September 2016 workshop will consolidate evidence on health governance from low- and middle-income countries. Each TWG has co-chairs responsible for guiding the organization and packaging the research and field practice on their theme. The TWGs are supported by a secretariat of WHO and HFG staff. The following themes and associated TWGs were established during the workshop:
- Public Financial Management
TWG Co-chairs: Karima Saleh (Senior Economist – Health, Nutrition & Population, World Bank), Eunice Heredia-Ortiz (Senior PFM Advisor, DAI); Secretariat reps: Hélène Barroy (WHO); Catherine Connor (HFG)
- Policy and Regulation
TWG Co-Chairs: Agnès Soucat (Director, Health System Governance and Finance, WHO) or Gérard Schmets (WHO), Suneeta Sharma (Project Director, USAID HP+); Secretariat reps: David Clarke (WHO); Bob Fryatt (HFG)
- Uses of Knowledge in Health Systems
TWG Co-Chairs: Sara Bennett (Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), Jodi Charles (Senior Health Systems Advisor, USAID/GH/OHS); Secretariat reps: Maryam Bigdeli (WHO); Adam Koon (HFG)
TWG Co-Chairs: David Jacobstein (DCHA/DRG Cross-Sectoral Programs Team, USAID), Lola Dare (President, CHESTRAD International); Secretariat reps: Dheepa Rajan (WHO); Jeremy Kanthor (HFG)
Kick-off Workshop Materials
- Workshop Summary Report: Marshalling the Evidence of Governance Contributions to Health System Performance and Health Outcomes: Workshop Summary Report
- Presentation Slides: Understanding Linkages between Governance and Health: Concepts and Evidence