Health financing in fragile and post-conflict states: What do we know and what are the gaps?

Abstract

There has been a growing concern with post-conflict and fragile states over the past decade, both in relation to their high level of health and development needs but also for the risk they pose to the wider international community. This paper presents an exploratory literature review to analyse the themes and findings of recent writing on one important pillar of the health system - health financing - in these countries. It finds that here is a growing but still very limited literature. Most of the insights from existing literature relate to the role of donors. There is a need for more work on access to care and equity over the post-conflict period, the mix and sequencing of financing mechanisms, resource allocation, regulation, public financial management, payment systems and incentives at facility and health worker levels, and on overall health financing strategies and their possible contribution to wider state-building. Topics which have received attention, such as contracting and non-state actors, could benefit from more rigorous analysis with a longer time perspective. A longitudinal approach, which examines how decisions taken in the immediate post-conflict period may or may not influence longer term developments, would provide important insights. As health systems in fragile and post-conflict states are often forced to innovate, they can generate useful lessons for other settings too.

Citation

Witter, S. Health financing in fragile and post-conflict states: What do we know and what are the gaps? Social Science and Medicine (2012) : [DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.012]

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