Over the past two years, members of the JLN Primary Health Care (PHC) technical initiative have come together through a series of in-person and virtual workshops to co-develop three practical tools for improving PHC delivery, including:
- UHC Primary Health Care Self-Assessment Tool
- Advice from Implementers to Implementers - a five-part manual on how policymakers can engage with the private sector to improve PHC delivery
- An Interactive Health Benefits Policy (HBP4PHC) Tool
The three tools have been a joint effort between members of the PHC technical initiative, who gathered virtually and in-person through “mini-exchange” workshops to share experiences and co-develop these practical knowledge products towards improved PHC delivery, with support from technical facilitators and international experts.
Most recently, "mini-exchange" participants from India, Malaysia, and Vietnam met in Cambodia to discuss their progress on the three knowledge products and to gather additional feedback from the wider PHC technical initiative.
Hosted by Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy of Finance (MEF), JLN members from Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Philippines, and Sudan collectively shared their feedback with the representatives from India, Malaysia, and Vietnam on the three tools, and then established plans for the tools’ finalization, dissemination, and broader use. Together, the group:
- Agreed that the mini-exchange format is an effective joint learning method, creating an intimate and productive working environment.
- Identified several countries interested in implementing the UHC Primary Health Care Self-Assessment Tool, including Kenya, Sudan, and Vietnam.
- Obtained the feedback necessary to finalize Modules 1 & 2 of manual, which will be presented in July 2016.
- Agreed on next steps for refining the scope and framework of the HBP4PHC tool, setting the stage for its further development.
- Reached consensus on the Initiative’s goals for the year ahead, including improved communications strategies and potential collaborations with the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PCHPI) that could enhance the development of the three PHC tools.
The workshop offered many opportunities for countries to share experiences implementing PHC-oriented UHC. Participants were eager to share learnings and challenges from their countries, both during workshop sessions, as well as during many of the informal gatherings the workshops allowed. For example, a new initiative member from Kenya, which is in the process of developing a national health financing strategy, shared that Kenyan policymakers are keen to understand how other countries have engaged with private sector, especially given that 50 percent of care in Kenya is provided by the private sector.
Members also had the opportunity to visit health facilities in Phnom Penh and the nearby province of Prey Veng, where they observed Cambodia’s innovative Health Equity Funds (which provide the poor with access to a range of social services, including health) and the web-based Patient Management and Registration System (PMRS). Through the site visits, participants learned lessons they could apply to their own contexts and had the opportunity to offer insights based on their country experiences.
What’s next? Based on the learnings and outcomes of the Cambodia workshop, the group will continue to collaborate over the following months to further develop its knowledge products for presentation at the JLN network-wide meeting in July, and looks forward to emerging collaborations with the PHC Performance Measurement and Improvement technical initiative.