Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Health systems and health systems strengthening: Starting points

Health systems and health systems strengthening: Starting points

There is no proper "health systems strengthening" topic page in the MMI ePlatform. We rather invite you to have a look at the WHO's framework for action for strengthening health systems and at a very inspiring collection of resources by the Antwerp Institute for Tropical Medicine and some of their partners. The WHO framework for action itself is an open invitation - for us and others, as its main title reads as follows: “Strengthening Health Systems to improve health outcome: Everybody’s business”.

> MMI thematic guide: Universal health coverage
> MMI thematic guide: Effective Health Cooperation

The MMI working group on Effective Health Cooperation


Health systems and HSS: Framework(s) and references

  • UHC2030 key reference documents
    UHC2030: "Global compact"
  • Everybody business: strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes. WHO’s framework for action.
    "The world has never possessed such a sophisticated arsenal of interventions and technologies for curing disease and prolonging life. Yet the gaps in health outcomes continue to widen. Much of the ill health, disease, premature death, and suffering we see on such a large scale is needless, as effective and affordable interventions are available for prevention and treatment. The reality is straightforward. The power of existing interventions is not matched by the power of health systems to deliver them to those in greatest need, in a comprehensive way, and on an adequate scale. This Framework for Action addresses the urgent need to improve the performance of health systems." (WHO 2007, pdf)
  • ITM Antwerp: Analysing health systems to make them stronger
    "The attention for Health Systems (HS) and Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) has re-emerged in the frontlines of global debate since several years. This document aims to clarify the authors’ ideas and visions on HS development by presenting a framework for description and analysis. The book outlines a framework that can be used by anybody wishing to analyze and strengthen HSs and it elaborates a vision for discussion." (Josefien van Olmen et al., ITM Antwerp, Studies in Health Services Organisation & Policy, 27, 2010, PDF)
    Full document
    Executive Summary
  • Health systems: improving performance. World health report 2000
    "This report examines and compares aspects of health systems around the world. It provides conceptual insights into the complex factors that explain how health systems perform, and offers practical advice on how to assess performance and achieve improvements with available resources."





Introductory papers

  • Everything you've ever needed to know about health systems
    Future Health Systems "buzzfeed" co-production (2014)
  • The emergence of global attention to health systems strengthening.
    Tamara Hafner and Jeremy Shiffman, 2012

  • Health system assessment approach: A how-to Manual Version 2.0.
    Health Systems 20/20, September 2012
  • Time for innovative dialogue on health systems research
    Bruno Meessen et al., Bulletin of the WHO
  • Systems thinking for health systems strengthening in LMICs: seizing the opportunity
    Taghreed Adam/ Don de Savigny eds.
  • Health systems frameworks in their political context: framing divergent agendas
    J. van Olmen et al., 2012
  • Understanding health systems, health economies & globalization: need for social science perspectives
    SF Murray et al., 2012  
  • Why differentiating between health system support and health system strengthening is needed
    Grace Chee et al., 2012
  • Investing in health systems strengthening - Taking stock of the evolving global landscape
    George Shakarishvili et al., 2012
  • The Health System Dynamics Framework: introduction of model and application to two case-studies.
    J van Olmen et al., 2012
  • An approach to addressing governance from a health system framework perspective
    Inez Mikkelsen-Lopez, Kaspar Wyss and Don de Savigny, December 2011
  • African Governments,  NGOs & Civil Society: A Crisis of Legitimacy? Arrianna Marie, Future Challenges, August 2011
  • "Good health at low cost" 25 years on. What makes a successful health system?
    Dina Balabanova et al. (ed.), LSHTM 2011
  • How can disease control programs contribute to health systems strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa?
    Wim Van Damme et al., ITM June 2011 (pdf)
  • Health system strengthening: Current trends and challenges. Report by the WHO Secretariat.
    WHA document, agenda item 13.4 (2011)
  • Health system strengthening. Improving support to policy dialogue around national health policies.
    WHA document agenda item 13.4 (2011)
  • Health-systems strengthening: current and future activities
    Jesper Sundewall et al. in: Lancet 2011
  • Toward a consensus on guiding principles for health systems strengthening
    Robert C. Swanson et al. in: PLoS Medicine 2010
  • Health services strengthening in Africa – research is a key component
    Shabbar Jaffar et al. in: TM&IH 2010
  • Health systems strengthening: a common classification and framework for investment analysis
    George Shakarishvili et al. in: Health Policy and Planning 2010
  • Health-systems strengthening: current and future activities
    Jesper Sundewall et al. in: The Lancet, 2010
  • Strengthening national health systems as the next step for global progress.
    Julio Frenk in: PLOs Medicine, 2010
  • What can global health institutions do to help strengthen health systems in low income countries?
    Dina Balabanova et al. in: Health Research Policy and Systems 2010
  • Global health actors claim to support health system strengthening — is this reality or rhetoric?
    Bruno Marchal et al. in: PLoS Medicine 2009
  • A health systems development agenda for developing countries: Time to be clear and visionary
    "Health care systems in many low-income countries are in a state of collapse. Many others remain incapable of providing effective and equitable essential health care. In spite of the importance of adequately resourced and effectively governed, managed and organised health care systems, there is no coherent and long-term health systems development agenda amongst the international health community. Instead, uncoordinated, piecemeal and increasingly ‘vertical and selective’ interventions are being applied in the absence of a road map for the strengthening and long-term development of health care systems." (Discussion document for civil society and NGOs produced by the Global Health Watch 1, 2006)
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