Resource Type: Brief
Authors: Heather Cogswell, Catherine Connor, Tesfaye Dereje, Avril Kaplan, and Sharon Nakhimovsky
Health resource tracking is the process of measuring health spending and the flow of financial resources among health sector actors. Health resource tracking is a vital component of health systems strengthening as it provides stakeholders with information on the value of health care goods and services purchased and patterns in the financing, provision, and consumption of health care resources.
The System of Health Accounts (SHA) is an internationally standardized framework that systematically tracks the flow of expenditures in the health system. The SHA is critical for improving governance and accountability at the national and international levels of policy-making. First published in 2000 (OECD 2000), SHA was then adapted to the developing-country context in a version of the SHA called National Health Accounts (NHA) (WHO et al 2003). Over 100 developing countries have completed NHA estimations, many with support from USAID, to inform health policy and measure health system performance. Most recently, OECD, EUROSTAT, and WHO produced an updated version of the SHA (OECD et al. 2011). The SHA 2011 statistical manual improves upon the original by strengthening the classifications to support production of more detailed results and by introducing new classifications that expand the scope of the analysis and provide a more comprehensive look at health expenditure flows. The purpose of this brief is to present the main features of the SHA 2011 framework as well as discuss the process of its implementation and, ultimately, institutionalization within routine government operations.