The Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator is pleased to welcome a new partner in Cote d’Ivoire to support the HIV response
The Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator is pleased to welcome a new partner in Cote d’Ivoire to support the HIV response

Reducing or eliminating barriers to HIV services is needed to increase the implementation of routine screening and to ensure access to services in clinical settings so that people living with HIV can receive the immediate care they need and there is effective retention for long term care.

The Accelerator is partnering with the Ivorian Network of People Living with HIV (RIP+) in Côte d’Ivoire to work with civil society and government stakeholders to assess and address barriers to HIV service access and utilization. Under the leadership of RIP+, the Accelerator will work with civil society organizations to launch the Stigma Index Assessment 2.0, …

ACCELERATING PROGRESS TOWARD SELF-SUSTAINING, INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEMS IS POSSIBLE

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Interesting conversations around how Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority tells it’s efficiency story at the National Health Insurance Scheme co-creation workshop on data optimization held in Accra, Ghana from March 10–11, 2020. Photo credit: Accelerator

The Accelerator focuses on strengthening countries’ capacity to drive health systems change in a sustainable and institutionalized manner, while helping them tackle specific systems issues that hinder progress across a range of areas. In its first year, the Accelerator began country engagements in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Togo — and regional offices in West Africa and Asia. Download our Year 1 Highlights Report to learn more.

Accelerator Coach Provides Practical Guidance on How to Adapt and Use Global Evidence to Launch the Liberian Health Equity Fund

By Nkem Wellington, Katie Shepard, Stephanie McKay, and Agnes Munyua

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Kelechi Ohiri of Health Strategy Delivery Foundation, Accelerator Coach Anthony Gingong, and Samuel Ayamba of USAID/Liberia (left to right) receive a tour of a primary facility in Bong County. (Photo credit: Accelerator)

“Coaching in Liberia was one of the best experiences of my life,” says Anthony Gingong. “I told them I was not coming as a foreigner. I was coming as one of them. That alone eased the tension in the room.”

Gingong is a health professional with almost 30 years’ experience within Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) where he established the Quality Assurance and Provider Payment units within the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) — the institution that oversees the operations of the NHIS. …

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Passionate exchange in debrief on Togo’s institutional architecture for accelerating its journey toward universal health coverage. (Photo credit: Accelerator/Peter Hansen)

Existing efforts to improve community health outcomes in West Africa recognize the need for (and difficulty of) complex and innovative interventions — ones that apply systems thinking, tackle multiple health systems “building blocks” at once, and likely require new models for financing and delivering quality health services, especially to vulnerable and under-served communities.

In West Africa, the Accelerator is partnering with USAID Missions, country leaders, and local and regional partners in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Togo to prioritize systems-level barriers that hinder community health outcomes, understand entry points for change, and apply integrated systems improvement approaches.

The Accelerator will work at the community level to strengthen the financing, governance, organization and delivery of primary care — ensuring that community needs and voices are integrated within the health system. The program will also creatively design multi-component reforms and interventions, including adapting new models and promising innovations that can be scaled in a way that complements and supports — but not duplicates — countries’ existing health strategies. …

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The Accelerator provided technical and financial support for a National Dialogue on Health Financing, organized by the Ivorian Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, in Abidjan from April 15–18. The National Dialogue brought together government, partner, civil society, and private sector stakeholders to discuss improved health financing strategies and define strategies to ensure harmonization of efforts on national health priorities. The event also provided an opportunity to familiarize health system stakeholders with the national investment case and advocate for both the mobilization of domestic resources and the sustainable financing of health programs.

Members of the Accelerator consortium joined the organization committee to raise the visibility of transition financing as a key theme among political leaders. As part of both Accelerator support, and cost-shared UNAIDS work around HIV transition assessment and planning, Accelerator staff prepared a slide deck overview of transitions which was presented jointly with Global Fund and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. …

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Representatives from Global Challenge Corporation and the Fonds National de Lutte contre le sida meet in Abidjan to kickoff work on sustainable financing for HIV. (From Left to Right) Eustache Akpane (Director, GCC), Dr. Adama Diabaté (Deputy Director of Resource Mobilization, FNLS), Raymond Bleou (Consultant, GCC), and Augustin Akra (Consultant, GCC). (Photo credit: Meredith Lathrop/Accelerator)

Global Challenge Corporation (GCC) will join the Accelerator consortium of partners to support Côte d’Ivoire’s progress towards sustainable financing for the HIV transition. As a leading technical institution originating from within the country, GCC brings deep technical expertise as well as intimate familiarity with the Ivorian context and long-term relationships with government and civil society actors and institutions.

GCC will partner with the Ministry of Health to support the establishment of the Plateforme nationale de coordination pour le financement de la santé (PNCFS), a multi-stakeholder platform for discussions on resource mobilization and utilization as well as the execution of national strategic plans and health- and development-related policies. GCC will help translate global knowledge to the Ivorian context and partnering with local stakeholders to improve the efficiency of HIV spending as well as contribute to a sustainable financing transition plan for HIV programs. …

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Representatives from across Liberia’s Ministry of Health participate in a two-day costing working from April 25–26, 2019. (Photo credit: Accelerator)

To help Liberia overcome systemic health systems challenges, the Accelerator is partnering with Liberia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of public health financing for the Liberian Health Equity Fund — its vision for a national health insurance model.

After years of civil wars and an Ebola outbreak, rebuilding Liberia’s health care system will require more than medicine and equipment. It will require the government of Liberia’s commitment to building a more resilient and effective health system. In 2015, the government released its recovery plan, detailing the need for more equipment, medicine and health care professionals calling for $489 million in spending in 2016 and 2017 and an additional $1.21 billion in the following five to bring the health care system up to international standards by 2022. …

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Anthony Gingong, former Director of Provider Payment for Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority, provides guidance to Ministry of Health officials as they make decisions around implementation of revolving drug funds as a precursor to the introduction of the Liberian Health Equity Fund. (Photo credit: Accelerator)

Achieving better population health outcomes requires strong, self-sustaining health systems, but driving systems-level change in countries is hard — it’s a continual process that is context-driven and requires navigating complex political, economic and institutional landscapes. Countries and practitioners have often expressed the need for better access to experts who understand country contexts and have relatable experiences to help guide them through tough implementation challenges.

Together, the African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions, the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC), and the Accelerator are testing a country engagement approach that provides traditional technical assistance as well as access to “coaches” and “mentors” who work alongside and support country stakeholders through processes to identify root causes of health system challenges, interpret and apply locally generated and global evidence, develop and implement solutions that are technically valid, feasible, and have the buy-in of stakeholders. Coaches and mentors are not the active doers of work and producers of technical outputs, instead they support country individuals and institutions to achieve specific goals and gain capacity to routinely generate and implement solutions to health system challenges. …

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Tackling complex health systems challenges requires multi-sectoral collaboration. The HSS Accelerator team had a working session with the public National HIV Fund and private-sector business coalition in Abidjan as part of our work on sustainable finance for HIV. Photo credit: Meredith Lathrop/R4D

WASHINGTON, DC — Results for Development (R4D) today announced that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected the organization to lead a new five-year global initiative: The Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (HSS Accelerator). This global platform will connect locally-driven health system reforms and innovations with global knowledge, enhance local institutions devoted to ongoing system strengthening, and accelerate countries’ journeys to self-reliant health systems. The program was co-created by USAID, R4D, the Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF), based in Abuja, Nigeria, ICF and several other partners.

“R4D’s mission is to work with change agents around the globe to create self-sustaining systems that support healthy, educated people, and that’s exactly what the HSS Accelerator aims to do,” said Gina Lagomarsino, R4D’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re so excited and greatly appreciate USAID’s major investment in co-creating and dedicating up to $200 million for this important initiative. We also gratefully acknowledge support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in developing the concept and planning for additional investment in it.” …

About

Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator

We work with countries to identify #innovative ways to accelerate progress toward self-reliant #healthsystems. Learn more at www.accelerateHSS.org.

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