Pre-conference Workshop: Skills building through peer learning – Implementing strategic purchasing to contribute to progress towards UHC in Africa

Monday, 11 March 2019, 9.00 AM-5.00 PM, pre-conference workshop at the Fifth AfHEA Biennial Scientific Conference, Accra, Ghana

organized by WHO Health Systems Governance and Financing and SPARC


Purchasing is one of the three health financing functions within the health system. There is growing consensus that countries need to shift from passive towards more strategic purchasing. This means to link allocation decisions with information on the health status of population and provider performance for payments. The following key areas are crucial to move towards more strategic purchasing: benefits operationalization, aligned provider payment systems with coherent incentives, and integrated or interoperable health information management systems. As an overarching health system function, effective governance arrangements are particularly relevant for strategic purchasing. Many LMIC undertake strong efforts to shift towards more strategic purchasing. Yet, challenges remain, and cross-country learning can provide practical lessons to overcome implementation roadblocks.

Purpose and objectives

This one-day skills building workshop provides a platform for cross-country exchange to explore ways to make purchasing more strategic, by looking at the core elements of strategic purchasing, related requirements and policy options.  Specifically, the workshop aims to:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of the purchasing of health services and challenges for moving towards more strategic purchasing (including implementation and political economy issues) among policy makers, practitioners and researchers.
  • Explore entry points and discuss policy options to make purchasing more strategic
  • Share existing guidance material that support the assessment of purchasing related aspects
  • Provide a platform for networking and peer learning among policy makers, practitioners and researchers and identify opportunities for collaboration among researchers, practitioners and partners in the field of strategic purchasing in African countries.


The workshop aims to facilitate peer-learning and exchange among participants through a participatory and interactive approach. Its content will therefore be tailored to the participants’ issues and key questions as expressed in the pre-registration process. There will be four sessions. Each will focus on a specific theme and comprises a mix of conceptual input on the issues at stake, sharing of country experiences and case studies as well as group discussions. The aim of the group discussions is to jointly explore entry points for moving towards more strategic purchasing. At the end of the sessions, group discussion results will be shared through various methods.

Workshop topics

The following topics will be covered: Strategic purchasing overview, payment systems, information management systems for strategic purchasing, and governance arrangements for strategic purchasing.

Audience: Up to 70 policy makers, practitioners and researchers attending the AfHEA Conference.


To save your place and suggest issues for discussion: please fill in the following form: (user name: WHOAFHEA; password: WHOAFHEA)

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