Strengthening governance requires a participatory approach to policy formulation, decision-making and performance evaluation at all levels of the health system, from policy-making to the clinical intervention level. Good governance is transparent, inclusive and makes the best use of available resources and information to ensure the best possible results. Good governance is reinforced by a robust system for mutual accountability among policy-makers, managers, providers and users and by incentives aligned with a people-centred approach. Establishing a strong policy framework and a compelling narrative for reform will be important to building a shared vision, as well as setting out how that vision will be achieved.
|Strategic approach||Policy options and interventions|
2.1 Bolstering participatory governance. Robust governance mechanisms are needed in order to achieve a coherent and integrated approach in health care policy, planning and delivery at all levels of the health system. Governments need to take responsibility for protecting and enhancing the welfare of their populations and to build trust and legitimacy with citizens through effective stewardship. The stewardship role of the health ministry is essential for good governance in health, and involves the identification and participation of community stakeholders so that voices are heard and consensus is achieved. It is also needed to ensure that the different goals of donor agencies and vertical programmes tackling specific diseases do not hinder the ability of health systems to focus on community health and well-being for all.
2.2 Enhancing mutual accountability. Essentially, this means answerability of decision-making, and encompasses both the “rendering of the account” (that is, providing information about performance) and the “holding to account” (namely, the provision of rewards and sanctions). Strengthening accountability of health systems requires joint action at all levels to improve services organization and delivery, health policy in health and non-health sectors, public and private sectors, and people, towards a common goal.
Extract from: WHO. Framework on integrated people-centred health services: report EB138/37. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015, available online at: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB138/B138_37-en.pdf, accessed 12 January 2016