Looking ahead to the next five years of joint learning Feb 08, 2016

Looking ahead to the next five years of joint learning

We recently released the JLN@5 report to celebrate the JLN's fifth anniversary. In this report, we celebrate the network’s achievements as a vibrant and innovative platform that has contributed to the creation of new knowledge, policies, and reforms that accelerate country progress toward UHC.

The JLN community has tested and continuously improved the joint learning model, expanded its membership to include 24 countries, and launched new partnerships to create enhanced opportunities for learning.

With a strong and growing network, the JLN looks forward to the next five years, when it will continue to advance an array of demand-driven and interconnected technical initiatives that push more countries closer toward achieving SDG Target 3.8.

The JLN will continue to focus on strengthening PHC systems, improving the quality of care, and improving core functions such as IT and provider payment systems. We will also focus on important emerging technical areas that are a high priority for member countries, including benefits design, financial sustainability, and medical audits. To support these technical initiatives, the network will continue to develop its core “infrastructure”: strong country-led governance, effective communications and knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation to continuously improve the quality of the JLN’s offerings. Joint Learning Network/Kyle Beaulieu

Building Partnerships

As countries progress toward UHC, they will continue to grapple with the dual challenges of ensuring financial protection and increasing access to essential, high-quality health services.

Achieving UHC will depend on domestic financing, strong country leadership, and technical expertise. This creates a new role and opportunity for funders and technical partners to help countries implement complex reforms by supporting them with the how-to of achieving UHC.

In 2015, the JLN solidified several new partnerships to expand opportunities for joint learning, including:

  • A deeper partnership with the World Bank to further strengthen the network “infrastructure,” develop new technical initiatives, and co-create a strategy for expanding and sustaining knowledge, learning, and innovation for UHC.
  • An exciting new partnership with the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative, which was created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank Group, and WHO. The initiative will launch a new Primary Care Measurement for Improvement collaborative to develop a menu of PHC indicators and other practical tools to support data collection, reporting, and practical use by policy makers and system managers.
  • A new partnership with GIZ to launch a Learning Exchange focused on leveraging financing and provider payment to strengthen PHC systems as countries move toward UHC.

Emerging Collaboratives

The JLN network coordination team works closely with member countries to align new collaboratives and technical areas of focus with country priorities. In 2016, we hope to kick off several new activities based on member feebdack: 

Health Care Governance

Participants in the “Accreditation as an Engine for Improvement” workshop in April 2012 expressed a desire to learn from each other and document experiences related to defining institutional arrangements in national healthcare delivery—a key problem area in the quest for quality improvement.

In 2016, USAID’s Health Finance & Governance Project (HFG) and Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project, along with WHO and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), will jointly facilitate a knowledge exchange on Institutional Roles and Relationships in the Governance of Health Care Quality. Through a series of virtual and in-person events, participants will co-develop a framework and final product that reflects global evidence on the institutional relationships that govern quality in the health sector and rich tacit knowledge about the institutional arrangements that are likely to yield the greatest quality improvements and how to implement those arrangements. 

Financing and Payment Models for PHC

There is scant international evidence on effective payment models that help shift the balance of resources and services toward primary care and prevention.

Many countries have tried a wide range of approaches and models for primary care financing and payment. But this experience is rarely evaluated, often incompletely documented, and not easily accessible to an international audience for peer countries to extract lessons.

Members of the Primary Health Care and Provider Payment Mechanisms technical initiatives, with funding from GIZ, will facilitate a new learning exchange on Financing and Payment Models for Primary Health Care. Participants will meet virtually and in-person to share experiences on the technical details, implementation challenges, experiences, and results of different models in different contexts. This exchange will result in a deeper understanding of how to better leverage financing and payment models for PHC to improve population health and financial protection in low- and middle-income countries. The lessons that emerge from the exchange will be synthesized and translated into a knowledge product that can be adapted and used by other countries that are facing similar challenges or embarking on this journey. 

Country-Level Collaborative Learning

JLN members agree that Country Core Groups play an instrumental role in strengthening member country engagement and leadership within the JLN.

Country Core Groups were introduced in 2013 to promote diverse, cross-institutional representation in JLN learning activities, facilitate joint learning across institutions within countries, and ensure effective knowledge dissemination. Most Country Core Groups include representatives from different government departments, donors, technical experts, and other local development partners and actors involved in health systems reform to achieve UHC. The precise composition varies depending on the local context.

"In Ghana, our Country Core Group meetings are about learning what is happening around us, and creating a platform for sharing and learning."
- Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health, Ghana 

Country Core Group meetings are great opportunities for participants to share knowledge and develop solutions in an informal setting. The JLN will continue to encourage member countries to develop strong Country Core Groups with diverse institutional participation and linkages to existing technical working groups or UHC forums. 

As the global movement toward UHC grows and countries strive to achieve the SDGs, policymakers and practitioners around the globe will need more opportunities to exchange firsthand knowledge of how to implement policies and programs that will advance progress toward UHC. The JLN can help connect those policymakers and practitioners with their peers in other countries, draw on their expertise, build practical knowledge for the world, and help countries make faster progress toward UHC.

Read the JLN@5 Report to learn how joint learning is already helping countries move toward UHC.