Expanding the Evidence Base for How Accountability, Transparency Contribute to Health Outcomes

This post was originally posted by the Health Finance and Governance Project
 
The Third Global Governance for Health Roundtable will take place September 29-30 in Cape Town, South Africa, just before the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. The HFG Project is collaborating with the Leadership, Management & Governance Project and the Health Policy Project on the event. The following blog post describes the state of the health governance evidence alongside findings from a recent USAID/HFG workshop designed to develop an action plan to address key gaps.
 
As donors and governments increase their emphasis on improved accountability and transparency in the health system, there is an amplified need for increased evaluation and sustained learning of how governance activities can have the strongest impact on these intermediate outcomes. But the overall lack of evidence and understanding of the dynamics of how, and contexts in which, improved governance can influence health is striking.
 
This evidence gap is the consequence of a number of factors, including:
 
  • The lack of consolidated research agendas. There is still a need for comprehensive understanding of what evidence exists and where the gaps still lie.
  • The complexity of governance interventions. Activities or interventions to improve governance take place in dynamic political environments that makes measurement and attribution difficult to assess. Definitively linking governance interventions to specific improvements in health outcomes can be challenging.
  • Governance and health issues can vary region to region, making cross country studies difficult.
 
Photo Caption: Experts from USAID, WHO, the World Bank, and implementing partners gathered on July 23 at the HFG Governance Workshop.
Photo: Caytie Decker (HFG).