News & Events

Second meeting of the multi-donor coordination committee for UHC

The first meeting of the multi-donor coordination committee for UHC successfully took place on 9 May 2018. To take a step forward, WHO and partners will hold the second meeting on 11 September 2018, 14:00-16:00 (CET) in Geneva, Switzerland.

This meeting will allow the UHC Partnership, funded by the European Union (EU), Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and IrishAid, to harmonize with other funding mechanisms such as the EU’s ACP Health System Strengthening (HSS) grant and the Japanese funding for UHC.

The preliminary agenda includes discussions concerning

  • the progress of the next phase of the UHC Partnership and the ACP HSS grant requests to the EU,
  • the recent advances of the Japanese funding for UHC,
  • monitoring instruments to track progress in the supported countries,
  • a proposal for a joint reporting mechanism for activities and
  • views from the regional offices.

Satellite Session at HSR: Institutionalizing population engagement in health policy-making: is the National Health Assembly mechanism the panacea for advancing health systems for all in the SDG era?

Participation and citizen’s voice are core SDG principles reflected in ‘leave no one behind’. Sustainable Development Goal 16.7 concretizes it further with its aim ‘to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels’. Better understanding mechanisms for population participation in decision-making is critical for achieving health for all.

A satellite session will be held on 8 October, 12:00 pm – 02:00 pm @ ACC room 11A, during the fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool, UK. This session will examine Health Assembly experiences in France (Etats Généraux de la Santé), Iran, Thailand, and Tunisia (Dialogue Sociétal) to question whether it lives up to its promises. It will delve into the modalities, success factors, and challenges of not only setting up a National Health Assembly-like process, but sustaining it over time with meaningful input from all sections of society, including the hard-to-reach.

The target audience will principally be policy-makers, especially those who may be interested in introducing or taking to scale such institutionalized mechanisms. The reality is that few countries undertake wide-scale (lay) population consultations for health in a regular and routine way. We hope that this session might help spark a reflection process for those who perceive National Health Assemblies to potentially be too cumbersome and costly, with little return on investment. In addition, we also target researchers interested in health governance, as well as civil society stakeholders interested in more participatory and inclusive policy processes.

The National Health Assembly concept is innovative practice in health systems development because it transforms the traditional role of the Ministry of Health, and government health policy-makers in general, from managers of service delivery to brokers of diverse health stakeholder interests – in essence, to conveners of policy dialogue through platforms such as a Health Assembly. Gathering real-time, meaningful population input into policies which affect them affords governments a tremendous opportunity to better engineer the health systems of their countries to deliver for all, leaving no one behind.

Organized Session at HSR: Policy dialogue: Sharing experience and evidence to strengthen multisectorality in health systems governance in low and middle income countries.

The UHC Partnership, in collaboration with the University of Montreal and McGill University, will run an ‘organized session’ during the fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research: Policy dialogue: Sharing experience and evidence to strengthen multisectorality in health systems governance in low and middle income countries (title in French: Le dialogue sur les politiques : partage d’expériences et de données probantes pour renforcer la multisectorialité dans la gouvernance du système de santé des pays à faible et moyen revenue). The session will be in French. English translations will be provided. Please join us on Thursday, 11 October 2018, 2.00pm – 3.30pm @ ACC room 3A.

The aim of the organized session is to raise public awareness of the added value of policy dialogue as a government tool to strengthen multi sectoral collaboration to contribute effectively to the SDGs goals, particularly to SDG 3 target. The UHC Partnership supports policy dialogue, with a view of promoting universal health coverage in more than 35 countries. Currently, a realist research study is under way to better comprehend the role of the partnership in six pilot countries.

The purpose of the session is to:

1. Share lessons learned from the realist research study on policy dialogue on health systems planning and financing, with the view of promoting UHC, and on the support provided by WHO, in the role of the UHC Partnership, to facilitate policy dialogue processes.

2. Mobilize public experiences of participation in policy dialogue.

3. Spark a common reflection on the need of policy dialogue.

At the end of the session, participants will have a better understanding of the multiple definitions of policy dialogue as well as a better understanding of the key challenges and ingredients of a successful process. In addition, this will allow participants to better reflect on the imperative need of engaging in a policy dialogue to support multi sectoral collaboration. These learning will further enable them to better comprehend their role in a policy dialogue, and to participate more actively, more regularly, and more strategically in the future.

5th Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for Low and Middle Income Countries, Tunis, Tunisia, 18-22 June

The World Health Organization is pleased to announce its fifth Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for Low and Middle Income Countries, to be held from 18 to 22 June 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia.

The course is structured in line with WHO’s approach to thinking and analysing health financing policy and its role in improving health system performance, in particular making progress towards universal health coverage.

The course is designed for policy makers, advisors and analysts in the health and social sectors, senior managers of service provider organizations and health insurance funds, and other relevant actors in government (e.g. Ministries of Finance, Parliamentarians), the private sector, civil society, and development partners. This is an advanced course and participants are expected to have extensive and relevant work experience and knowledge of health financing policy, and previous training in health systems and policy (e.g. participation in a Flagship Course). Completion of the WHO eLearning Course on Health Financing Policy for UHC ( is strongly encouraged as preparation for the Tunis course.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 1 March 2018 at midnight (Geneva, Switzerland time). The number of places on the course is limited and hence not all applicants can be guaranteed a place.

A Course Selection Committee will select participants based on a number of criteria including the relevance of the applicant’s current position and work functions, evidence of previous training on health policy and/or systems strengthening, and English language ability, and a number of additional criteria. Teams from the same country representing different policy perspectives (e.g. health and finance) are strongly encouraged.

To find out more about the course and access the application form, please go to the WHO Health Financing for Universal Coverage website

WHA side event: Inclusive formulation of evidence-based policies and programmes for Universal Health Coverage

Hosted by the Governments of Uganda and Ethiopia
Thursday 24 May 2018, 12.30 – 2.00 pm

Palais des Nations Location, Room VII

The concept of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 and included in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, is gaining momentum, as countries have begun defining their own paths towards achieving it by 2030. Translating this important, ambitious goal into practical and feasible policies is a challenge for countries around the world.

During this session, Uganda and Ethiopia will share their experiences on inclusive approaches for formulation of a national roadmaps and strategies for UHC in their countries. They will describe how they activate stakeholders in the process of priority setting, and illustrate the importance of building UHC policies and system changes within the national resource constraints. They will also discuss how they contextualise evidence to advance UHC through national knowledge generation and customisation of international best practices to national capabilities. By mainstreaming development of UHC roadmaps in Government policy development processes, sustainable results will be achieved.

All WHO AFRO Member States Ministers are invited to participate in the discussion about the critical success factors for UHC strategic development, roadmaps and programming.



12.30-12.40 (10m)
• Welcome from the Chairs
• Introductory remarks from Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO AFRO Director

12.40-13.00 (20 mins)
Keynote speeches:
1. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health of Uganda
2. Dr. Kedebe Worku, Minister of Health of Ethiopia
3. Mr. Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva

13 .00-13.30 (30 mins)
• Country Approaches to UHC: sharing experiences and drawing common lessons for policies, programs and implementation arrangements
Technical presentations:
4. Prof. Ssengooba, Makerere University, on behalf of Ugandan Ministry of Health
5. Delegate from Ethiopian Ministry

13.30-14.00 (30 mins)
• Critical success factors for Policy development and implementation of UHC
• Plenary discussion and Q&A moderated by WHO AFRO Director


Download Flyer: Inclusive formulation of evidence-based policies and programmes for Universal Health Coverage