Health Reform & SWAps

In the past 10 years, Ministries of Health in developing countries in partnership with donors have moved towards a Sector-wide Approach (SWAp) to health service delivery as a means of improving effectiveness, efficiency, quality, coordination, sustainability and resource utilisation. While there are a number of common factors and building blocks that need to be in place for a SWAp to function, there is no blueprint for design and implementation.

Each country starts its journey from a different place with different circumstances prevailing and different resources to draw on. The approach has had mixed results but arguably remains preferable to the system its seeks to replace, namely a plethora of projects funded directly by external agencies operating in different places, beginning and ending at different points and usually unsustainable while incurring significant transactions costs for ministry and donor alike.