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Primary Health Care Measurement for Improvement

About the Learning Exchange

A common challenge faced by many countries – and one that presents major obstacles to an evidence-based strengthening of primary health care systems – is the current state of data and data systems for health. Although countries often report that they are “drowning” in data, the institutional structures, incentives, and workforce capabilities to enable the actual use of data for performance improvement are lacking.

Gaps in data collection and quality and the fragmentation of platforms for collecting data inhibit countries’ abilities to gain a complete picture of current system performance. Of those data that are collected, a lack of routine feedback mechanisms hinders the ability of system managers to take informed action for improvement at the community, facility, and policy levels. In short, health system managers need – but don’t often have – the right data at the right time to inform decisions.

In order to address these challenges, the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI) ↗ is partnering with the JLN to launch a new collaborative on Primary Health Care for Improvement collaborative.

The JLN connects practitioners and policymakers through an innovative approach for the co-development of global knowledge products that bridge the gap between theory and the practical “how to” of implementing reforms to achieve UHC. Through this unique and very practical collaborative model for joint problem solving, including multilateral workshops, country learning exchanges, and virtual dialogue, the JLN brings complementary strengths to PHCPI that will allow members of this collaborative to build on real experience to test and produce new knowledge and tools for PHC performance measurement and improvement.

Past Collaborative Work

Strong primary health care (PHC) is vital to achieving UHC. As countries work toward UHC, they recognize that the public sector alone cannot provide all necessary comprehensive PHC services to cover country populations and that countries need to engage and effectively steward both public and private health sectors. The Private Sector Engagement collaborative has worked to address the lack of international guidance on engaging the private sector to achieve PHC-oriented UHC.

Member country representatives from the Tamil Nadu State of India; Malaysia; the Philippines; and Vietnam co-developed Engaging the Private Sector in PHC to Achieve UHC: Advice from Implementers to Implementers, a guide designed to help policymakers, practitioners, development agencies, and research institutes with practical guidance for engaging the private sector to deliver primary health services for UHC.

Members identified that the public and private sectors in most countries often work in parallel with minimal linkages or collaboration between the two sectors in primary health care. Modules in this guide include a series of steps that implementers can take to engage and partner with the private sector; why each step is important; and how to implement the step, with real-world examples and documentation.

Technical Facilitators

Profile photo of Chloe Lanzara
Chloe Lanzara
Program Officer, Results for Development
PHC Measurement for Improvement collaborative

Profile photo of Cheryl Cashin
Cheryl Cashin
Managing Director, Results for Development
PHC Measurement for Improvement collaborative

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