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Analytical summary - Partnerships for health development

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Following the review of the National Health Policy in 2009, the Government of Sierra Leone, in consultation with partners, developed the National Health Sector Strategic Plan to provide the framework for improving the health of the nation.[1] The implementation of this Plan requires concerted effort from all stakeholders in the health sector. Consequently, the Sierra Leone compact agreement was developed to ensure sustainability of funding and coordination within the health sector.[2]

This compact agreement sets out understandings reached between the Government and the health partners who are signatories to it. The main objective is to set out a framework for increased and more effective aid to permit Sierra Leone to make faster progress towards achieving the goals of the Agenda for Change and the health-related Millennium Development Goals.

The compact agreement outlines the following as the main mechanisms for coordination in the health sector:[2][3][4]

  • The Health Sector Coordination Committee is the highest consultative and strategic decision-making body in the sector. Its membership includes the country coordinating committee and National AIDS Secretariat. It is chaired by the Minister of Health and Sanitation.
  • The Free Health Care Initiative Steering Group will have its mandate expanded to cover the entire health sector support programme and will henceforth be called the Health Sector Steering Group. It is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer.

Previous subcommittees have been replaced by the following health sector working groups with specific membership and terms of reference:

  • Working Group on Leadership and Governance.
  • Working Group on Integrated Service Delivery and Associated Supportive Supervision.
  • Health Sector Steering Group.
  • Working Group on Health Infrastructure Development and Maintenance.
  • Working Group on Health Financing and Financial Management.
  • Working Group on Procurement, Supply Chain Management, and Medical Products and Technology.
  • Working Group on Health Information, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Associated Supportive Supervision. This working group has overall responsibility for the health management information system and logistics management information system development and strengthening, including supportive supervision for their effective implementation.

Similar governance arrangements to those at central level have also been put in place at the district and ward levels.

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Furthermore, the Joint Programme of Work and Funding was developed to operationalize the National Health Sector Strategic Plan in a more coordinated and effective manner by outlining priority health interventions to be implemented over the period 2012–2014, their resource implications and financing situation. An important strategy of the Joint Programme of Work and Funding is to improve leadership and governance with the objective of strengthening coordination, collaboration, alignment and harmonization with development partners, implementing agencies (nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations and private for-profit organizations) and Ministry of Health and Sanitation departments and agencies.

The Directorate of Planning and Information played the leading role in the development of the Joint Programme of Work and Funding with technical assistance from the Department for International Development (United Kingdom) and WHO. The development of the Joint Programme of Work and Funding has been an all-inclusive joint assistance strategy.[5]

The main partners of the Government in the health sector include United Nations agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, World Food Programme and WHO), the Asian Development Bank, Department for International Development (United Kingdom), European Union, Irish Aid, World Bank, nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations.[3]

Since 1996, the health sector has been primed to move towards a sector-wide approach for health delivery.[3]

References

  1. National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2010–2015 (pdf 1.09Mb). Government of Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 Health compact (pdf 510.02kb). Government of Sierra Leone, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 WHO Country Cooperation Strategy at a glance: Sierra Leone 2008 (pdf 261.91kb). Brazzaville, WHO Regional Office for Africa, 2009
  4. Report on an assessment of the Sierra Leonean health information system, October 2006 (pdf 148.69kb). Government of Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Statistics Sierra Leone, UNAIDS Country Office, World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences
  5. National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2010–2015 Joint Programme of Work and Funding (JPWF) 2012–2014 (pdf 2.79Mb). Government of Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, 2012