How to support local organizations & strengthen the ecosystem to advance universal health coverage
To advance universal health coverage (UHC), countries need a strong ecosystem with different types of institutions and a mix of skills and capacities (technical, political and social). Governments will need to continuously leverage different parts of this ecosystem for support to specific UHC goals and challenges. Working to strengthen the overall ecosystem around a collective goal like UHC is important for this reason.
Today, many funders and implementers are increasingly embracing the localization movement, focusing on the question of how to engage more local institutions and shift power dynamics to the countries themselves.
Here, we offer key lessons from the USAID-funded African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions (ACS) program, for which a principal focus was engaging local organizations and strengthening the UHC ecosystem in specific countries and more broadly in sub-Saharan Africa. ACS formed institutional partnerships with five African organizations that came together as part of a growing movement to shift the nexus and modality of technical support to the African continent.
Key resources and how they can be used:
A Guide to Managing U.S. Awards: This guide covers key topics required to be a successful recipient of U.S. government awards. As the global health community pushes for more locally-led development, this guide can be useful for non-profit registered entities at the country level.
Partnership Lessons — Collaboration Between a Global Organization & Local Partners: This report takes stock of the partnerships between Results for Development and its five African Institutional Partners within the ACS program, examining the collaborative implementation processes as well as strengths and weaknesses of the partnership model. The study may be used by other organizations who wish to use a similar approach.
Partnership Lessons — Collaboration Among Local Partners: One of the goals of the ACS program was to facilitate learning exchanges and collaboration among local partners in order to build a consortium that would continue to work together beyond the life of the ACS program. This report looks at how partner learning exchanges were set up and assesses their strengths and weaknesses (with a particular focus on gathering the perspectives of local organizations on the process, experience and recommendations for building forward). The report will be useful to anyone contemplating to undertake similar initiatives.