3 October 2013

IHP+ interviewed Tom Achoki (Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at the Ministry of Health in Botswana) on an article he recently co-authored with Collins Chansa in Health Policy in Technology titled “The impact of funding modalities on maternal and child health coverage in Zambia.” They found that a 60% increase in funding channeled through the government would lead to the achievement of overall intervention coverage of 85% for key maternal and child health interventions within a 6 year period while a similar effect would take 9 years if the funding was disbursed directly by donors. Read Dr. Achoki’s perspective on the implications of this research on the health development effectiveness agenda:

The case for using government funding channels: a closer look at funding modalities in Zambia

IHP+ interviewed Tom Achoki (Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at I-TECH Botswana) on an article he recently co-authored with Collins Chansa in Health Policy in Technology titled “The impact of funding modalities on maternal and child health coverage in Zambia.”  Read Dr. Achoki’s perspective on the implications of this research on the health development effectiveness agenda:

Background: Using health intervention coverage trends generated through the Malaria Control Policy Assessment project in Zambia and a dataset of annual operational fund disbursements from government and donor sources to each of the country’s 72 districts, Achoki and Chansa examined the impact of different funding scenarios on the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) outcomes. They found that a 60% increase in funding channeled through the government would lead to the achievement of overall intervention coverage of 85% for key maternal and child health interventions within a 6 year period while a similar effect would take 9 years if the funding was disbursed directly by donors.

Q: Can you explain your conclusions in non-economic terms?
A: This article is about the merits of financing health care systems in a holistic fashion rather than as vertical programs. By analyzing two separate funding channels – government and donors – we found that funneling money through the former is far more effective. Failure to harmonize funding channels not only leads to duplication of effort, but leaves health system stewards unable to effectively plan and implement.

Q: Why are donors currently not channeling funding through government systems, and what needs to happen to address this phenomenon?
A: A myriad of factors such as lack of effective coordination, limited institutional and absorptive capacity, and donor inertia to embrace change. However, the situation is getting better now; there is a greater focus on health systems strengthening, with government assuming leadership in the discourse of health financing and delivery. More effort is required towards a joint health financing framework.

Read the full article in Health Policy and Technology here.

Thanks to Tom Achoki for agreeing to be interviewed for this article.


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