Innovations for equity

New Consortium launched at the Symposium: REBUILD

In Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

BY TIM  MARTINEAU, GUEST BLOGGER FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE

Tim explaining the soft launchIn countries affected by political and social conflict, health systems often break down and emergency assistance provided by humanitarian organisations often constitutes the main source of care. As recovery begins, so should the process of rebuilding health systems but little is known about how effective different approaches are in practice. Health systems research has tended to neglect these contexts, because it may be more difficult to carry out studies in unstable environments and relevant capacity is often weak.

REBUILD will focus on health financing, human resources and their interaction. In health financing, we will build knowledge about the implications for women, girls and boys in the poorest households of alternative ways of re-establishing financial support for the public system including new aid institutions, new budgeting strategies and targeted funding for priority programmes. In human resources we will focus on management innovations, opportunities for reallocating roles among health professionals in a rebuilding health system and the prospects for both to contribute to improved access to effective services for those most easily excluded.

Decisions made in the early post-conflict period can set the long-term direction of development for the health system. Effective and well-targeted public services and well-informed regulatory measures support an appropriate complementary role for the non-state sector. The consortium will identify particular opportunities that arise during the recovery from conflict. Growing resources available to the health system as the economy recovers and aid flows increase can be targeted on reducing the direct financial burden on poor women and children, and health workforce development. Innovations introduced by humanitarian organisations may be capable of institutionalisation in the public sector. Entrenched opposition to pro-poor change may be weaker during this period.

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