December 21, 2018

CHAI joins the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI)

CHAI is proud to join the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI). iDSI is a global network of health, policy and economic experts supporting low- and middle-income countries to make healthcare investment decisions that reflect the best value-for-money. CHAI is one of several partners who will expand the group’s global network of expertise and cross-country experience. This collaboration was announced on Universal Health Coverage Day, Dec. 12, along with iDSI’s new grant to expand engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This partnership will contribute to CHAI’s health financing program, which supports governments implementing reforms towards the goal of universal health coverage. A cornerstone of CHAI’s work in this area is to help governments develop priority-setting processes that stretch limited resources farther, providing essential health services to those in greatest need. The iDSI network will better enable us to connect policymakers and experts from around the world.

This collaboration builds on ongoing work in countries and globally. In October, CHAI, iDSI, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) convened a satellite session at the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. The session centered on health financing towards universal health coverage. Policymakers from Africa and Asia, as well as researchers and experts from the iDSI network, were invited to discuss their practical experiences with health financing reforms, with a focus on priority-setting and allocating resources.

The session brought together officials from Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Indonesia, Eswatini, Rwanda, and Malawi to share their experiences. In Malawi, for example, Dr. Gerald Manthalu, Deputy Director of Planning at the Ministry of Health, shared the government’s experience developing an Essential Health Care Package. He also discussed key challenges the country has faced in developing the package: financing is fragmented, coming from over 190 different sources. Each funder has a set of priorities which makes it difficult to allocate resources in line with the defined package. Dr. Manthalu said that Malawi is tackling this issue by encouraging coordination of donor funds with governments plans and priorities. Read more about the satellite session here. Presentations from the session have also been made available here.

CHAI’s partnership with iDSI expands a growing network of countries and partners, like those who attended the satellite session, who are working to improve priority setting with the goal of universal health coverage. While there is no one path towards universal coverage, sharing lessons learned across different countries can help governments reach their shared commitment to increase coverage of essential health services for their citizens.

About iDSI and CHAI
CHAI is among a group of core partners that includes the Center for Global Development, the Global Health and Development Group at Imperial College London, the Asia HTA consortium which includes the National Health Foundation of Thailand, the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore and Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, the China National Health Development Research Center, KEMRI (Kenya Medical Research Institute), Wellcome Trust Programme, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The network endeavors to generate long-term, locally-owned solutions to health care challenges through building capacities for using evidence in policy and clinical decisions.

Written by Samantha Diamond, Associate Director, and Jessika Yin, Senior Associate, Global Health Financing
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