In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) model of health systems, understanding and strengthening the relationships between health system ‘building blocks’ is seen as critical for mitigating unintended effects such as negative behaviours and exclusion, identifying opportunities for synergy, and generating health policies that are ‘system ready’ (de Savigny and Adam 2009). In support of this vision, we contend that network-centric approaches that foster integration, innovation and local creativity hold much promise for strengthening health systems and health policy development in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). However, we suggest that effective monitoring and evaluation techniques for learning about the performance of networks are lacking or underutilized. We therefore call for greater investments in developing robust measurement and accountability strategies for ensuring that network modes of collaboration lead to improved system performance and enhanced health outcomes.
Willis, C.D.; Riley, B.L.; Best, A.; Ongolo-Zogo, P. Strengthening health systems through networks: the need for measurement and feedback. Health Policy and Planning (2012) 27 (suppl 4) iv62-iv66. [Systems thinking for health systems strengthening in LMICs: seizing the opportunity] [DOI: 10.1093/heapol/czs089]