The OneHealth Tool is a new software tool designed to strengthen health system analysis and costing and to develop financing scenarios at the country level. The primary purpose of the tool is to assess health investment needs in low- and middle-income countries. For the first time, planners have a single framework for planning, costing, impact analysis, budgeting and financing of strategies for all major diseases and health system components.
Most existing costing tools take a disease-specific approach. OneHealth is the first tool to present the detailed components of these existing tools in a uniform format and link them with a view to strengthening the overall capacity of national health systems. The tool is modular in format and can easily be adapted to the country context.
The tool is designed for use by experts involved in national health planning, including government health planners, UN agencies, NGOs, donors, researchers and consultants. Users have been trained to develop scenarios involving bottlenecks, estimating impacts, comparing costs and budgets in workshops of less than a week. The time required to develop an application for a strategic plan depends on the availability of data, subject-matter experts and coordination among critical actors.
The tool has been introduced in numerous workshops involving the InterAgency Working Group on Costing and the Futures Institute, including Francophone Africa, Anglophone Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Arab States, UN headquarters and some donors. Reaction has been very positive with users pleased with the applicability to strategic planning, ease of use, and clarity of methodology. The tool has been applied in Burkina Faso, Laos and Senegal so far, and over six other countries have plans to use the OneHealth Tool in 2012.
In 2012, the tool will see further development of an NCD (non-communicable diseases) costing and impact module, improvements to the user-friendliness of the tool, more workshop-based trainings and country applications.