The conference themes relate to the broad theme of how the international community’s post MDG agenda of SDGs and the so-called grand convergence might impact health in Africa. The following themes are meant to serve as a guide for the technical organization of the conference and not as a restriction on research areas and innovation by participants.
Theme 1: The unfinished MDGs agenda and the new SDGs, including, for example, how experience of working towards the MDGs informed SDG approaches; relevance of the SDGs and Grand Convergence for Africa; to what extent did African priorities and concerns inform the SDGs/Grand Convergence; and, how realistic are the new goals and targets.
Theme 2: Financing the SDGs and the Grand Convergence (GC), including, for example resource mobilization (such as expansion of fiscal space, the decline in overseas development assistance (ODA), the growing emphasis on domestic resource mobilization and the possible impact of the principle of universality of SDGs irrespective of a country’s income level, pooling and allocation, strategic purchasing; results based financing, as well as financing strategies to reduce inequity and to increase financial risk protection in the informal sector.
Theme 3: Policies and reforms for improving health system performance, required to move towards the SDGs and the grand convergence, ranging from, for example, strategies to improve governance, leadership and financial and other management strategies;
Theme 4: Priority setting and economic evaluation including the use of economic evaluations for priority setting and decision-making, support for multi-country decision-making mechanisms through to the case for prioritizing RMNCH services in global, regional and country health programmes.
Theme 5: Human Resources for Health (HRH), including, for example, production and distribution of personnel; costs of production of personnel; remuneration practices, incentives and impacts on productivity; efficiency of HRH, health worker motivation; and, financing on-going training.
Theme 6: Key methodological changes in health economics and policy analysis specific to Africa including data accessibility challenges, economic modeling for complex systems, policymaker demand for and use of economic and policy analyses.
Theme 7: The role of research institutions and donors in building capacity in health economics, including for example, advocacy for broader consideration of economic principles by policymakers, skills required for economic assessments in Africa, gaps not addressed by current university programs, and the importance of collaboration for skills sharing.