The close of 2017 saw a significant gathering of countries and development partners to galvanize the universal health coverage (UHC) movement of ensuring access to quality and affordable essential health services, medicines and vaccines for all.
Convening at the UHC Forum, organized by UHC2030, World Bank, WHO, UNICEF and JICA in Tokyo, Japan on December 13-14, 2017, their commitment took the form of greater investment in providing country support, measuring primary health care-focused UHC, mobilizing partnerships, and setting out a joint declaration that lays the premise for collective action to achieve UHC by 2030 under the UHC2030 framework.
Along with greater coordination of health system strengthening, advocacy, accountability and civil society engagement, knowledge exchange and learning have taken a front seat as one of the essential strategies for driving the UHC agenda forward.
“Accelerating progress towards UHC requires systematic learning from country experience through platforms such as UHC2030, increased focus on policy coherence, addressing implementation bottlenecks, and harnessing the potential of system innovations and effective and affordable technology in the health sector,” recognized the Tokyo Declaration, signed by the organizers of the UHC Forum.
To that end, the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN), a knowledge platform that supports the systematic learning from country experiences, UHC implementation and knowledge management, joins a host of health systems initiatives to coordinate and enhance the generation and sharing of practical knowledge that can stimulate countries to innovate for UHC.
JLN’s collaboration activities with its new partners under the UHC2030’s knowledge management working group will be shaped by the UHC2030 knowledge management strategy, which was also launched at the UHC Forum.
“Aligning technical topics for knowledge generation with country needs and ensuring timely access to the generated knowledge will be pivotal to accelerate progress in countries,” said JLN Convener and senior deputy director of Malaysian Ministry of Health’s Planning Division, Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, speaking as a member of the UHC2030 Knowledge Management working group.
Based on stakeholder mapping and a knowledge management landscape analysis, the UHC2030’s knowledge management strategy aims to broker knowledge across the health systems to strengthen their UHC agendas.
The newly launched Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, released by the World Bank and WHO, finds the world has made progress toward UHC but still has a long way to go as at least half of the population still cannot obtain essential health services. For countries, UHC2030 is a timely initiative to build upon the progress made thus far and continue the momentum needed to achieve UHC by 2030.