Helpdesk Report: Different Funding Modalities for Health - Update



This is an update on the 2011 report which responded to the following questions: What is the evidence on providing health funding support through unearmarked sector budget support (SBS) as opposed to disease specific funds or programmes? Are there specific outcomes that can be attributed to different funding modalities? Are there any outcomes (or outputs) that can be linked to the way support is provided including sustainability or institutional strengthening? Is one way or the other way better or worse for outcomes?

Key findings include:

  • Sector budget support has generated some impressive results in the health field in the East Africa context (The Independent Commission for Aid Impact, 2012).
  • A previous helpdesk review (Holley, 2012) finds evidence showing the benefits of budget support and deeming it cost effective.
  • An ODI evaluation (Tavakoli, H. and Hedger, E., 2010) shows negative effects on resource allocation of switching from General Budget Support (GBS) to a Health SWAp.
  • Peters et al. (2012) find SWAps have contributed to the development of robust national health policies and transparent expenditure frameworks as well as strengthening institutional capacity, though levels of success vary widely.
  • IBRD/World Bank (2013) finds positive impact for results-based financing.
  • Country specific resources including reviews and evaluations of aid impact in Malawi, Kenya and the South Pacific region can be found in section A6.
  • EC sector budget support contributed significantly to financing staff retention schemes, but data available do not permit a precise statement of impact (Particip GmbH, 2012)


Bolton, L.; Thompson, S. Helpdesk Report: Different Funding Modalities for Health - Update. (2014) 36 pp.

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