Strained government budgets and reductions in external funding mean that developing countries must find new and innovative ways to finance their health systems and cover healthcare costs. Particularly as countries move from low- to middle-income status and increase their tax revenues, they are being asked to shoulder greater financial responsibility for financing health services. This shared responsibility for funding health is reinforced by financing mechanisms such as the Global Financing Facility and PEPFAR, both of which emphasize the increasing role of domestic resource mobilization (DRM).
Governments in low- and middle-income countries need technical support to effectively engage in DRM, put in place sustainable financing mechanisms that will go beyond meeting the short-term needs of specific disease programs, and make progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) goals. This support will need to include
- Building the capacity of governments to undertake the challenge of correctly allocating and fully spending scarce public funds to benefit the most vulnerable, while also ensuring that critical commodities and services are consistently available.
- Using improved data collection and information to reduce policy barriers that inhibit the prioritization and effective use of health funding
Private sector players, many of whom are not yet fully engaged in DRM or service provision in these countries, will also require support to effectively contribute to a sustainable health financing agenda; as will civil society, which increasingly advocates for adequate and sustained health funding, but requires platforms from which it can participate.
What We Do
Our efforts primarily focus on tying DRM to UHC-oriented reforms, emphasizing increases in healthcare access that respond to gender and socioeconomic status, scale and depth of services, and financial protection. Using critical and well-timed technical assistance, HP+
- Equips health sector actors with the evidence they need to motivate their increased health investment in the Sustainable Development Goal era, builds their capacity, and provides them with tools to communicate this evidence to key decisionmakers.
- Assists governments in instituting financing processes that increase allocations to essential health services. Among these are tax-based resource mobilization, improved execution of health budgets, and technical efficiencies—all of which increase the potential domestic resources available
- Helps governments adopt policies that scale up health insurance and generate demand for key services
- Catalyzes the implementation of policies that specifically foster partnership with the private sector and leverage the participation of providers who serve the largest proportion of citizens, thereby uncovering innovative mechanisms for increasing available resources for health and advancing their judicious use
- Supports policies that promote health equity and gender-sensitive health financing that can effectively focus public sector resources on critical populations