As low- and middle-income countries transition away from donor support, the mobilization of domestic resources is increasingly important for sustaining investments in health, education, infrastructure, and other key sectors. Many governments are increasing domestic resource mobilization through: (1) efforts such as tax administration reform; (2) substantial economic growth; and (3) reduced energy import costs resulting from falling oil prices.
In order to support and grow programs that address priority health issues such as preventable maternal and child deaths, HIV/AIDS, and communicable disease, it is critical that the health sector benefit from greater overall domestic resource mobilization. However, insight from USAID’s ongoing, five-year Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project shows that when general government resources increase, greater allocations to health are not automatic and cannot be assumed.
To ensure that adequate domestic resources are allocated to the health sector, dedicated analytic, policy, and advocacy efforts are required. Several countries are leading the way, having demonstrated marked success over the past several years in mobilizing resources for the health sector. The collaborative peer learning model of Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) offers a potentially powerful vehicle for cross-country learning and action on domestic resource mobilization for health. Furthermore, the HFG Project has developed and supported the implementation of several tools (including the Ministry of Health/Ministry of Finance Toolkit) that can be applied by policymakers working to accelerate domestic resource mobilization for health.
R4D is working with Abt Associates under the HFG Project, and in partnership with the JLN, to conduct two multi-country workshops that support the development of concrete and actionable domestic resource mobilization for health strategies. Country strategies will address the threefold challenge of:
- Getting money allocated to health in the first place;
- Ensuring that newly allocated funding allocated to health is released and spent; and
- Ensuring sustained investments.
The workshops will use peer learning approaches to promote knowledge exchange and commitment to follow-up action. During the first workshop, high-level teams from health and finance agencies will share lessons and will be encouraged to apply available tools and resources as they develop their strategies. Several former ministers of health and finance will also be in attendance to share experiences and lessons learned from their respective contexts.
The second multi-country workshop will function as a “help-desk,” supporting participants to further develop realistic, feasible, and sustainable domestic resource mobilization for health strategies.