Action Agenda of the 2nd ASHGOVNET Congress
The 2nd congress of the African Health Systems Governance Network (ASHGOVNET) was convened by the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda 20th – 21st March 2012.
It was attended by 37 health system experts from across Africa as well as international development partners under the theme of “Modeling a sustained approach for strengthening health governance and stewardship in low income countries” to address three topics namely:
(i) Carry out an in-depth analysis of the health systems governance topics that were the subject of email and internet debates and make recommendations for action;
(ii) Receive and discuss reports of studies on health systems governance that have been carried by ASHGOVNET members and propose appropriate follow up actions;
(iii) Discuss the governance arrangements for the Network.
The congress received and discussed in-depth analysis of selected health system governance with special focus upon professional leadership, country ownership of system policy processes, closing the communication gap in policy dialogue, creating enabling climate for health research in Africa, approaches for application of evidence for policy development (evidence to policy), constraints to implementation of the “African Health Strategy”; institutional capacity building through Health Resource Partnership Initiatives (HRPI) as well as critical global health aspects relating to Africa in the global arena.
The participants received and discussed reports of studies on mapping of Health Resource Partner Institutions (HRPIs) in five African Countries – Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.The five countries established the following:
• The need for a mechanism to link HRPIs and the Ministries of Health (MoH) so that the MoH can utilize their expertise
• The need to develop the capacity of HRPIs to play the support roles to their governments
• A structured tool should be designed to be used for modeling a stronger working relationship between HRPIs and MoH
• Phase 2 should be designed for individual countries to collaborate with ACHEST and the RECS
• A mapping tool should be developed which can be used by other countries to do similar exercise as the next steps. (i.e. a tool for implementing the recommendations)
• Knowledge sharing should be supported to promote learning through dissemination of the five country reports on a continuous basis. (e.g. in Africa health journal etc)
• Modify and adapt a tool for other countries to conduct the mapping
The congress noted with satisfaction the good quality of the research and mandated ACHEST and countries to take this work forward as set out below in the way forward for ASHGOVNET under two key areas:
1. Constitute a governing organ for ASHGOVNET in form of a pan-African Advisory Board comprising all parts of Africa a set out in the mandate of the African Union with a balanced set of expertise and languages for legitimacy. The Board should meet regularly and the work continue to be supported by a small secretariat at ACHEST. (This work has previously been supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation but now new sources of funding shall required to take the work forward.
2. Having appreciated the good quality of the HRPI work stream, the following next steps for follow up were recommended:
2.1. Support countries to improve reports with comments from the congress (ACHEST and countries to complete the reports) by July 2012
2.2. Disseminate improved completed reports of the five countries on a continuous basis thereafter
2.3. Develop an implementation plan for the 5 countries to implement the recommendations in their reports
2.4. Modify the tool for other countries to conduct the mapping