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Analytical summary - Leadership and governance

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To provide clear policy direction and leadership within the health sector, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare elaborated a medium-term National Health Policy and National Health Plan along with other subsector policies and strategies. The current health policy is based on the primary health care approach with a goal of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and improving health outcome.

The Health Sector Coordination Committee serves as the steering committee of the sector and makes critical programmatic and financial decisions. Representation on this committee includes:

  • the Minister of Health and Social Welfare with his four deputies and advisers;
  • heads of all donors and international development partners coordinators from international and local nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations;
  • the private sector;
  • multilateral and bilateral missions with health development objectives.

The Health Sector Coordination Committee is chaired by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

Apart from the Health Sector Coordination Committee, there are other governing bodies, including the Interagencies Coordination Committee, the Liberia Coordination Mechanism and the Pool Fund Steering Committee. The Interagency Coordination Committee on immunization is the coordination and decision-making body for immunization. The Minister of Health chairs the Committee while the Expanded Programme on Immunization manager serves as secretary.

The Ministry of Finance, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, the European Union, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Rotary International, United Nations Children's Fund, United States Agency for International Development, WHO and World Bank are members of the Interagency Coordination Committee.

Technical issues related to the Expanded Programme on Immunization are discussed and resolved at the Technical Coordination Committee meetings.

The Liberia Coordinating Mechanism oversees the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria implementation and makes critical decisions on technical and programme issues.

At the county level, the County Health and Social Welfare Team is the management structure and is headed by the County Health and Social Welfare Officer. This team is responsible for coordination of all activities at the health facility level.

A Health Management Information System Policy was formulated in 2009 to facilitate and ensure that policies and decisions are evidence based. This Policy provides clear direction for data generation, reporting and dissemination.

A national Human Resources for Health Policy and Strategy (2011–2021) was developed to tackle the issues of production, recruitment, retention, motivation, better planning, strengthening of the capacity of health training institutions, and improving quality and equitable distribution of the health workforce.

There is a 10-year Health Financing Policy and Strategy (2011–2021), formulated to ensure equitable and sustainable allocation of resources by levels of care. The Policy was designed to harness the right balance between preventive, curative and rehabilitative care and improve planning and budgeting, increase social protection and various funding mechanisms.