Credit: Options/Yemen voucher programme

Health financing solutions

Everyone should be able to access good quality health care without being driven into poverty. As populations and economies grow, there is an increasing need to provide financing solutions that enable more efficient and effective delivery of health services. Only then will governments be able to achieve universal health coverage and meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

The health financing support we provide to governments is driven by the goal of increasing equity in access to quality services, the cost of which does not push people into poverty.

Equity, efficiency and transparency and accountability are objectives that cut across all of our work. We provide tailored health financing solutions, as well as technical support to strengthen public financial management by:

  • Providing public financial management support to governments to ensure strategic allocation and efficient use of resources.  This includes strengthening systems, processes and institutions for better financial management, better planning and coordination, and an increased focus on results through performance-based financing approaches. 
  • Developing health financing strategies. We provide technical support to governments and partners to design and implement revenue collection, pooling and purchasing mechanisms to address financial challenges of achieving universal health coverage. 
  • Increasing transparency and accountability through evidence based advocacy. We advocate for prioritisation of health within government budget allocations as well as supporting governments to access innovative financing through health budget advocacy at the national and regional level.
  • Developing health financing strategies. We provide technical support to governments and partners to design and implement revenue collection, pooling and purchasing mechanisms to address financial challenges of achieving universal health coverage. 
  • Promoting equity through demand-side financing. We design and implement performance based financing (PBF) demand side financing (DSF) approaches as an effective way to improve quality of care and increase use of services. We have designed transport subsidies and voucher schemes that enable people to access services when they need them, regardless of ability to pay.

In Kenya, we are working with the Bungoma County Department of Health to develop a Public Expenditure Review (PER) and Health Financing Strategy.  The PER has helped the County Department of Health to gain a better understanding of each of the sources of funding, how they are channelled through the system and how they are spent. We have also implemented a transport voucher scheme, enabling poor pregnant women to access safe delivery services.

Through our Malawi Health Sector Programme we have been working with the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) to support financial management analysts to improve district financial management and oversight.  The programme has also supported the establishment of the Health Services Joint Fund (HSJF) and Common Fiduciary Oversight Arrangement (CFOA) under which Government and development partners focus on strengthening the PFM systems of the health sector.

Also in Malawi, we use conditional cash transfers for women delivering at participating facilities to contribute to the costs of reaching and staying in the facility.  In both programmes the PBF incentivises staff to take ownership for increasing access to key maternal and newborn health services.

In Nepal, the Aama programme supports women in accessing antenatal care and free, institutional delivery including transport to and from a facility. It gives women the chance to take advantage of medical services across Nepal and means they can give birth safely, whatever their location, situation or caste. It also offers financial incentives for the facilities to provide quality care.

In Yemen, we have designed and lead the implementation of Safe Motherhood and Family Planning vouchers on behalf of the government – an initiative that has successfully engaged both the public and private sectors. The programme has also shown how DSF can help women access safe motherhood services in a context where conflict often prevents the public sector from delivering health care.

Regionally, through our support to the Africa Health Budget Network, we advocate for greater allocation of funds to the health sector, and translation of funding commitments to actual spending.  The #ValueOurHealth campaign, launched in 2016, calls on African governments to increase access to budget information and to provide more opportunity for public engagement in the budgeting process.  

Results

In Nepal, Aama increased the number of women delivering in a facility from 18% to 55% between 2006 and 2014

In Malawi 140,872 women have delivered their babies safely in a RBF supported facility

In Kenya, between November 2015 and November 2016 11,342 vouchers were distributed to poor mothers in Bungoma enabling them access quality maternal and newborn health services

In Yemen as of April 2016, 24,404 women received a safe motherhood voucher and used it to deliver in a facility

Our experts

  • Matthew Nviiri
    Matthew Nviiri is a public health specialist who has spent the past decade working on results- and performance-based financing projects. He has designed RBF country strategies for Uganda and Rwanda. He is currently Project Director of our Maternal and Newborn Health Initiative, improving maternal and newborn health outcomes using innovative financing mechanisms. While in Uganda, Matthew worked closely with the Ministry of Health and played an important role in the implementation of the national health strategies.
  • Corinne Grainger
    Corinne Grainger has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant providing technical assistance to reproductive, maternal and newborn health programmes. Corinne is a health financing specialist with expertise in results based financing approaches to increase access to quality health services. She has supported design of RBF and voucher programmes in Malawi, Yemen, Pakistan and Mozambique.

Share this page

More about Options
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.

Stay updated

LinkedinTwitter

phone+44 (0)20 7430 1900 emailEmail UK Office