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Maximizing Positive Synergies Between Health Systems and Global Health Initiatives A Mixed Methods Approach. Dr. Jim Yong Kim Harvard Medical School Harvard School of Public Health October 2, 2008. Positive Synergies.

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Maximizing Positive Synergies Between Health Systems and Global Health Initiatives A Mixed Methods Approach

Dr. Jim Yong Kim

Harvard Medical School

Harvard School of Public Health

October 2, 2008

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Positive Synergies Global Health Initiatives

“How can global health initiatives and national health systems optimize their interactions to capitalize on positive synergies and minimize negative impacts, thereby achieving their common goal of improving health outcomes?”

What are the best methods to answer this question and lead to the desired outcomes?

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What are the Desired Outcomes? Global Health Initiatives

  • Healthier People/Equity/Social Justice

  • Highly functioning health systems that are responsive to everyone and deliver across the priorities

  • Better policies that shape donor behavior, health system design and health service delivery

  • Evidence-based implementation and delivery by systems and practitioners at all levels

  • Evidence that links system design, implementation strategy, management structure, degree and nature of integration of services, civil society involvement, health system architecture etc. – to health outcomes

  • Methodologies and researchers that fit the task

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Choosing the right methods Global Health Initiatives

  • What kind of data/information exists and does it point the way to further studies?

  • What is the state of framework and theory development around the problem?

  • Are researchers who represent “unusual” disciplines working on the problem?

  • Are civil society actors and affected communities involved at every step?

  • Will the methods used and research done be helpful to practitioners at the country level and lead to real health improvements for people?

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Proposed Methodological Approach Global Health Initiatives

  • Cross-country Quantitative Analysis

  • Country-level Mixed Methods Analysis

  • Provider Unit-Level Analysis

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Research Questions Global Health Initiatives

  • How do GHI-funded programmes interact with health systems in varied country contexts?

    • What positive synergies or negative interactions emerge when GHI funded programmes interact with local health systems?

  • In various contexts, which factors influence the extent and nature of interaction between GHI-funded programmes and local health systems?

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Research Questions Global Health Initiatives

3. What are the specific system designs and delivery strategies funded by the GHI’s that have lead to the most positive impacts on health systems?

a. How do these designs and delivery structures influence the coverage of targeted and non-targeted interventions and health outcomes?

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Epidemiological Global Health Initiatives




GHI investment










Health Outcomes

Health workforce



Fairness of




Monitoring and Evaluation




Health Technologies

Other external


Communities/Civil Society




Conceptual Framework


Health Systems Infrastructure/Hardware

Adapted from: WHO six building blocks and RA Atun et al, 2006

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Levels of Analysis Global Health Initiatives

Cross-country quantitative analysis

Identifying relationships

Country-level mixed methods analysis

Understanding relationships

Provider-unit level analysis

Understanding the impact

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Mixed Methods Approach Global Health Initiatives

  • Appropriate for complex systems and relationships

  • Either quantitative or qualitative methods alone are insufficient

  • Employs multi-disciplinary teams

  • Allows for triangulation with different types of data

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Cross-country quantitative study Global Health Initiatives

Government health expenditure

Coverage of immunization

GHI investments

Coverage of skilled-attendance at delivery

Child mortality

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Country-level mixed methods analysis Global Health Initiatives

  • Case study library

  • Level 1 – National level analysis of GHI-Health System Interaction

  • Level 2 – Regional, district, and provider unit level analysis of systems design and local impact

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Country Selection Global Health Initiatives

  • Develop sampling matrix in consultation with partners:

    • Geographical representation

    • GHI investment as a percentage of total health expenditure

    • High burden of GHI-targeted disease

    • Existing connections with partner institutions

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GHI investment/ Global Health Initiatives Total health expenditure

  • Burundi

  • Rwanda

  • Zambia

  • Somalia

  • Liberia

  • Guyana

  • Uganda

  • Gambia

  • Ethiopia

  • Tanzania

  • Malawi

  • Haiti

  • Mozambique

  • Kenya

  • Swaziland

GFATM, PEPFAR, GAVI disbursements through 2005

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HIV Prevalence Global Health Initiatives

  • Swaziland

  • Botswana

  • Lesotho

  • Zimbabwe

  • Namibia

  • South Africa

  • Zambia

  • Mozambique

  • Malawi

  • Central African Republic

  • Gabon

  • Cote d'Ivoire

  • Uganda

  • Kenya

  • United Republic of Tanzania

WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS), Accessed: July 2008

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TB Incidence Global Health Initiatives

  • Swaziland

  • South Africa

  • Djibouti

  • Namibia

  • Lesotho

  • Zimbabwe

  • Timor-Leste

  • Zambia

  • Botswana

  • Sierra Leone

  • Cambodia

  • Mozambique

  • Cote d'Ivoire

  • Congo

  • Rwanda

WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS), Accessed: July 2008

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Proposed countries Global Health Initiatives

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Proposed countries Global Health Initiatives

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Other Likely Candidates Global Health Initiatives

  • Cameroon

  • Senegal

  • Ghana

  • Viet Nam

  • Philippines

  • India

  • China

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Data – Cross-country Global Health Initiatives

  • Time series cross sectional data

  • GFATM, PEPFAR, GAVI disbursements

  • National Health Accounts

  • OECD’s Credit Reporting System

  • DHS, MICS, administrative data, data from UN or WHO

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Data – National and Regional Global Health Initiatives

  • Document review

  • Semi-structured interviews with key informants

  • Collection and analysis of appropriate, available quantitative information

  • All data collected in cooperation with Ministries of Health

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Data – Provider Unit-Level Global Health Initiatives

  • System Design – Implementation Strategies

  • Available Services

  • Laboratory Services

  • Essential Medicines

  • Human Resources

  • Infrastructure

  • Targeted Outcomes (HIV, TB)

  • Coverage of non-targeted interventions

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Expected Outcomes Global Health Initiatives

  • Global cross-country analysis

  • Case study library of more than 10 countries – detailed information on health system design, implementation strategy etc.

  • Provider unit-level analysis in select countries

  • Literature review

  • Identification of knowledge gaps for further study

  • Improved methodology

  • Input for WHO policy recommendations

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Timeline Global Health Initiatives

  • Late October: Finalized methodology with partners

  • Early November: Begin in-country data collection

  • November 17-19: Bamako Ministerial meeting

  • January – March: Continued data collection and analysis

  • March – April: Preparation of results and reports

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Academic Partners Global Health Initiatives

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Conclusions Global Health Initiatives

  • April is tomorrow

  • Much very important work has already been done

  • Must be clear about the question we are trying to answer

  • We must look to “unusual” methods and “unusual” partners

  • This effort is just the beginning of a much larger effort – lead to the development of a “science” of health care delivery?

  • This has to be a team effort with collaborations in all directions – a “community of practice”

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Selected References Global Health Initiatives

Atun, RA, Turcan, L, Berdega, V et. al. (2005). Review of Experience of Family Medicine in Europe and Central Asia. (In five volumes) Volume V: Moldova Case Study. World Bank Report No. 32354-ECA. Human Development Sector Unit, Europe and Central Asia Region. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

Atun RA, Menabde N, Saluvere K et al. Introducing a Complex Health Innovation – Primary Health Care Reforms in Estonia (Mulitmethods Evaluation). Health Policy 79 (2006) 79-91.

Atun RA, Bennett S, Duran A. When do Vertical (Stand-Alone) Programmes Have a Place in Health Systems? Policy Brief, WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems, 25-27 June, 2008, Tallinn, Estonia.

Banteyerga, H, Kidanu, A, Stillman, K. (2006). The Systemwide Effects of the Global Fund in Ethiopia: Final Study Report. Bethesda, MD: PHRplus. Abt Associates Inc.

Daniels N, Flores W, Pannrunoathai S (2005). An Evidence-Based Approach to Benchmarking the Fairness of Health Reform in Developing Countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 83: 534-40.

Frontiers Development and Research Group. Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives in Zambia: Issues of Scale Up and Health Systems Capacity: Interim District Report. (2008). Global HIV/AIDS Initiative Network. OSI.

GAVIAlliance. Accessed July 2, 2008 at:

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Selected References Global Health Initiatives

Global HIV/AIDS Initiative Network (GHIN). (2006). A Generic Guide to Research Practice: Following discussion at Lilongwe workshop of GHIN African teams.

Global HIV/AIDS Initiative Network (GHIN). (2006). GHIN African District Studies: Detailed Research Questions and Methods.

Gbangbadthoré, S, Hounsa, A, Franco, LM. (2006). Systemwide Effects of the Global Fund in Benin: Final Report. Bethesda, MD: Health Systems 20/20. Abt Associates Inc.

Loevinsohn, B, Aylward, B, Steinglass, R et. al. (2002). Impact of Targeted Programs on Health Systems: A Case Study of the Polio Eradication Initiative. American Journal of Public Health; 92(1):19-23.

Mtonya, B, Chizimbi, S. (2006). Systemwide Effects of the Global Fund in Malawi: Final Report. Bethesda, MD: PHRplus. Abt Associates Inc.

Murray CJL, Evans DB, eds. Health systems performance assessment: debates, methods and empiricism. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2003.

Semigina, T, Griga, I, Bogdan, D, Schevchenko, I, Bondar, V, Fuks, K, Spicer, N. (2008). Tracking Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives and their Impact on the Health System in Ukraine: Interim Report. Global HIV/AIDS Initiative Network. OSI.

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Selected References Global Health Initiatives

WHO. Everybody’s Business: Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes. WHO, 2007.

WHO. The Global Fund Strategic Approach to Health Systems Strengthening. Report from WHO to the Global Fund Secretariat, September, 2007.

WHO. Maximizing Positive Synergies Between Health Systems and Global Health Initiatives. Report on the expert consultation, WHO, Geneva, 29-30 May 2008.

WHO. Opportunities for Global Health Initiatives in the Health System Action Agenda. WHO Department of Health Policy, Development and Services, Evidence and Information for Policy, 2006.