As part of its ongoing reform of the health sector, Zambia has developed a number of systems and structures to coordinate and manage external resources. With increasing attention being given to the potential for sector-wide approaches (SWAps) to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems in low-income countries, Zambia provides an interesting case study of how this is emerging in practice over time. The paper outlines the different coordination mechanisms and assesses them in terms of selected criteria of effectiveness, finding that the potential to meet reform objectives is currently not being met. Factors influencing the effectiveness of these mechanisms are identified as falling into categories around personalities and human interaction, the nature of reform processes, and the impact of broader context. The need to maintain dialogue in the face of external constraints and uncertainties is stressed.
Health Policy and Planning 14(3): 254-263