​The Challenge

Today, most low- and middle-income countries are designing and implementing policy strategies that aim to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC). While health leaders worldwide broadly endorse UHC, wider stakeholder groups still demonstrate varying levels of understanding and commitment toward the goal of health for all.

Progress toward UHC also depends on the status and maturity of reform processes. UHC policy reform requires local ownership and customized strategies for specific contexts. Diverse stakeholders must be engaged, including political leaders, health care purchasers, providers, patients, suppliers, and civil society groups. Each stakeholder group requires tailored communications approaches from policy champions to realize changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in support of UHC.

Strategic communications are deliberate, coordinated actions intended to inform, influence, or persuade key stakeholders in support of an overall objective – in this case, achieving or strengthening UHC. Strategic communications enable all actors to understand their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities to maximize the benefits of reform. This is often the first step of many in the complex, long-term endeavor of realizing UHC.

About the Strategic Communications for Universal Health Coverage Learning Exchange

Although policymakers and implementers – so called “policy champions” – recognize the importance of strategic communications for UHC, explicit guidance on how to plan and execute strategic communications strategies related to UHC does not exist.

To fill this gap, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Health Finance and Governance Project (HFG) partnered with the Joint Learning Exchange for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) to bring together eight country delegations to generate global knowledge on strategic communications for UHC.

Each country delegation shared relevant challenges, experiences, and best practices, and contributed to the co-development of a Practical Guide to Strategic Communication for UHC and accompanying Strategic Communications for UHC Planning Tool. These resources are intended to provide actionable guidance on communicating effectively to support UHC policy reform initiatives.

​Participating Countries

Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, and Sudan

Technical Facilitators

Amanda Folsom

Dr. Leizel P. Lagrada-Rombaua

Dr. Herbert Blankson

Betty Cox

Emma Willerton