Rebuilding health systems in conflict-affected states – Timor-Leste

This case study highlights that despite the challenges in integrating gender equity concerns into the health system in Timor-Leste, overall, the reform of the health system since conflict ended has benefited women’s health. In some areas, Timor-Leste has achieved some key targets, for example the proportion of births attended by a skilled health worker and… Read more

Rebuilding health systems in conflict-affected states – northern Uganda

This case study examines whether health system reconstruction in northern Uganda has promoted equality and created a health system that is gender equitable. Measuring the health system against the World Health Organization’s six health system building blocks, the case study highlights that northern Uganda needs a post-conflict recovery plan which is sensitive to gender concerns…. Read more

Rebuilding health systems in conflict-affected states – Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is almost at the bottom in the Human Development Index, ranking 180th out of 187 countries. There is significant gender inequality where a mere 23% of women are literate, half the rate among men, while domestic violence is widespread. In addition, infectious diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV/ AIDS are the leading… Read more

How can health system reform after conflict support gender equity?

A common assumption is that strengthening the health system will automatically lead to better health for men and women. However, health systems are not neutral: they reflect gender norms, and as such, can reinforce gender inequalities and discrimination. Health system reform has largely paid little attention to how health service integration, human resource policies, information… Read more

How can humanitarian responses to health adequately take gender into account?

The period just after conflict is a time of turmoil when social norms are in a state of flux, donor funds are available and there is often a political will for change. A window of opportunity for reform in public sector institutions can open, offering a chance to “build back better” in health and gender… Read more

Building Back Better: Gender in post-conflict health systems development

The post-conflict or post-crisis period provides the opportunity for wide-ranging public sector reforms; social norms are in a state of uncertainty, donor funds are available and there is often a political will for change and to ‘build back better’. Health system reform can improve the quality and accessibility of health care; increase the effectiveness and… Read more

Addressing the human resources for health crisis: the role of action research to improve workforce performance

The single biggest barrier for countries in sub-Saharan Africa to achieving Universal Health Coverage is the lack of an adequate and well-performing health workforce. This deficit can be addressed by training more new health personnel and/or by improving the performance of the existing health workforce. So far efforts have mostly focused on training new staff… Read more

Two evaluations of community Ebola interventions, two different results

This spring, when my team from the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform evaluated Community-Based Ebola Care Centres (CCCs) in Sierra Leone, one thing we constantly heard complaints about was human-resource management. Residents of the communities where the Centres were located grumbled about favouritism: well-paying jobs in the Centres were given to friends and family of the… Read more

Who pays for progress? The role of domestic resource mobilisation and development assistance in financing health. A case study from Kenya.

Kenya has one of the most vibrant economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic growth is strong, and in 2014 it was announced that Kenya had crossed the threshold from a ‘low-Income country’ to a ‘lower-middle-Income country’ (LMIC). Yet, 43% of the people live on less than $1.25 a day and in some parts of Kenya only… Read more

Improving the performance of community health workers: What can be learned from the literature?

Many countries are now attempting to roll out and scale up Community Health Worker (CHW) programmes. CHWs provide a wide range of health services. They are community-based workers who are trained, but have no formal professional or paraprofessional certificate. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to find out how intervention design can influence… Read more

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