Meetings & Events

Strategic Purchasing for UHC: unlocking the potential

WHO’s Department of Health System Governance and Financing organises a global meeting on:


“Strategic Purchasing for UHC: unlocking the potential”
25-27 April 2017
at WHO Geneva, Switzerland



Participants from national health authorities and purchasing agencies, partner agencies, foundations, as well as researchers have been invited and will discuss five key themes: benefit package design, mixed provider payment system, governance for strategic purchasing, information management systems, and payment for performance.

The objective of the meeting is to further develop a global collaborative agenda on future work related to strategic purchasing in support of country efforts to progress towards universal health coverage.

If you are interested, you can virtually join:  There will be a live web stream for some sessions on the times indicated below.


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Session 1: Process for evidence informed benefit package design: 11.00 – 12.30 (GVA time),

Session 2: Mixed provider payment systems: Alignment for coherent incentives: 13.45 – 15.00 (GVA time),

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Session 3: Governance for Strategic Purchasing: 08.45 – 10.00 (GVA time),

Session 4: Coherent information systems for strategic purchasing: 13.30-15.30 (GVA time),

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Session 6: P4P and Results Based Financing as part of mixed provider payment systems: from scheme to systems: 08:45 – 11.00 (GVA time),

It is suggested to connect a few minutes earlier, as it takes a bit of time to get into it.

You may also follow on twitter on #StrategicPurchasing4UHC

More materials will be made available on our website after the meeting.


5th Annual Technical Meeting of the EU-Luxembourg-WHO UHC Partnership in Brussels


This year marks the 5th Year Anniversary of the EU-Luxembourg-WHO UHC Partnership, an unique programme with a global ambition promoting policy dialogue on national health policies, strategies and plans with 28 target countries, with the goal of supporting the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

On this occasion, from 21-23 March, Ministers of Health representatives, development organizations, decision-makers, European institutions representatives, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, WHO officials from the three levels of the Organization, academia and donors are meeting to celebrate achievements, collectively share experiences on challenges and ruminate on innovative solutions at country level with the aim of jointly moving the UHC agenda forward.

The three-day meeting will address critical health systems issues in the context of UHC and the SDGs: the close connection between resilient health systems and security in particular in fragile states; the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs at country level and how this can positively impact different health areas i.e investment in health workforce; the importance of genuine and strong partnerships at global and at country level to improve aid-effectiveness; and the relevance of a Health-in-All-policies approach involving all sectors to respond to shifting health needs.

Training on realist research thinking: 31 Jan – 2 Feb 2017, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

WHO has partnered with University of Montreal and McGill University in order to conduct realist research work, with the aim to better comprehend how the UHC Partnership contributed to some of the small and large results that have been documented in countries participating in the UHC partnership.

Approximately 25 participants will meet in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for a three day training workshop. A pilot study of the methodology specifically for studying policy dialogue processes was already undertaken in early 2016 in Togo; this allowed the research team to fine-tune the research protocol which will be used in 6 locations in a multi-country study (Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, DRC, Cabo Verde, Liberia). The objective of the meeting is to train national researchers (one from each research country), WHO country offices and other stakeholders from the African Regional Office in the realist research methodology, with the aim of having those researchers conduct the research and act as a lead locally during the research work in 2017.

Bilateral Meeting: The government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg welcomes WHO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, 2 December 2016

WHO and Luxembourg meet every year to discuss and review the status of collaboration, alternatively in Geneva and Luxembourg.  This year, the bilateral meeting took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg on 2 December 2016.

Luxembourg supports 6 countries under the EU-Luxembourg-WHO Universal Health Coverage Partnership (UHC Partnership): Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger and Senegal in Sub Saharan Africa and Lao PDR in Asia. Discussions centered on further expanding to countries in all WHO regional offices, specifically the Region of the Americas (AMRO) as they are conspicuously missing from the Partnership. The WHO Africa Regional Office connected in by videoconference and underlined the full flexibility of Partnership funds in line with policy processes in countries. It is to be noted that this is rarely seen in other donor-funded programmes.


EU-LUX-WHO UHC Partnership Contributions Showcased at the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver

The Global Symposium on Health Systems Research takes place every two years, bringing together the full range of players involved in health systems and policy research.   This year in Vancouver, there will be several events directly related to the EU-Luxembourg-WHO UHC Partnership: 

  1. A Satellite session panel discussion – 14 November, 15.00-17.00:  “Is policy dialogue the weak link in creating resilient health systems? Experiences from the EU-Luxembourg-WHO UHC Partnership” The panel will discuss the work of the UHC Partnership, and the types of tangible results which can be achieved at country level despite the non-linear nature of policy dialogue.  The discussion will highlight that policy dialogue does not just happen by itself; it is a political process that requires top-level political commitment and will, as well as adequate investment in terms of effort, prioritization, and resources.  Moderated by the Director of Health Systems, WHO Regional Office for Africa, panellists will include Ministry of Health representatives from Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea and Liberia, as well as development partners.
  2. The launch of WHO’s flagship national health planning guide, “Strategizing National Health in the 21st Century: A Handbook” – 15 November, 9.00-11.00This handbook is one of the key normative products resulting from the UHC Partnership, and responds to the needs and demands of WHO Member States for up-to-date and practical guidance on how to develop, implement, monitor and review strong national health sector strategic plans (NHSSPs), as a foundation for resilient and responsive health policies and systems.  The launch session, chaired by Dr Carissa Etienne, Regional Director of WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, will be in the form of a panel discussion bringing together potential users of the Handbook (2 Ministers of Health and 2 Directors of Planning), with donors and development partners.

Selected chapters of the Handbook will be briefly presented (in blue):

  1. Overarching chapter – new approaches for NHSSPs towards UHC
  2. Needs and expectations: consultation of the population
  3. Situation analysis: a comprehensive exercise
  4. Priority setting: participatory decision making process
  5. Transforming priorities into a national health strategy
  6. Operationalizing plans
  7. Costing a NHSSP and fiscal space
  8. Health budgets and the budgeting process
  9. Monitoring and evaluation, including sector reviews: joint process
  10. Laws and regulation for national health planning
  11. Decentralization and national health planning
  12. Fragile states and national health planning 
  1. A panel session will bring together three country experiences with decentralization, namely Kenya, Pakistan and Philippines – 16 November, 11.30-13.00. The session entitled “Building resilience into decentralized health systems” will present and discuss the introduction of decentralized models of health system governance in the context of devolution, examining the processes as well as the results of the implementation of these models on health system resilience. It will emphasize institutional factors, legal frameworks and governance arrangements in decentralized contexts, that impact resilience. Cross-cutting lessons from the three country examples will attempt to answer the following questions:
  • How do health systems adapt and evolve to internalize decentralization? What are the required institutional reforms and legal frameworks that facilitate this?
  • How can health systems seize the opportunity of decentralization to build more resilient and adaptive institutions designed to deliver integrated people centered health services?
  • How can health systems seize the opportunity of decentralization to build health systems that are coordinated, responsive and place the needs of people and communities at the center of their operation?

Even if those countries are not (yet) part of the UHC-P, this session should inform decentralization processes in partner countries. 

4.  A panel session will be organized Friday 18 November with some research partners (Université de Montréal) involved in the EU-Luxembourg / WHO UHC Partnership. During the session “Understanding causes of inequitable coverage of social health protection programmes: do knowledge paradigms matter for research and policy?” health systems researchers will seek to explain causes of policy success and failure, yet causality is unresolved in social science. We will use three different knowledge paradigms (positivism, critical realism, social constructionism) to explain inequity in social health protection in India, Senegal and Togo and will ask a WHO policymaker whether theory matters. The session will be chaired by Pr. Valéry Ridde.

5. A satellite session: “Health Programs and Universal Health Coverage (UHC): addressing facility and system-wide inefficiencies will take place on Tuesday, 15 November.  The purpose of this session is to focus global and country debates about “health programs and health systems” on efficiency issues created by fragmented approaches that can diminish the potential achievement of both programmatic and system-wide objectives.   Approaches developed and used in case studies by WHO and the Global Fund will be analysed and applied. The session will mix short presentations, discussions and hands-on case study learning and will be chaired by Joe Kutzin, Coordinator of Health Financing, Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing at WHO, and Michael Borowitz, Chief Economist, The Global Fund. 

For more information, consult the Symposium website: