The goal of the UHC Ghana Project was to develop a team of trainers in Ghana from National/Subnational Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are capable of providing training on Domestic Health Financing (DHF), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Budget Advocacy (BA) to civil society actors, media organizations and elected officials at the national level, and to provide support and mentoring to CSOs engaged in these activities in Ghana. We accomplished this goal in October 2021 with 16 CSO Leaders completing the training.
The UHC Ghana Trainers went through four training sessions in total: (1) Overview of Joint Learning Agenda; (2) UHC and the Right to Health In Ghana; (3) Budget Analysis and Advocacy; and (4) Operationalizing Advocacy. Upon completion, they were asked to develop plans for the Regions and Districts they have operations in.
Both LaMont "Montee" Evans, President/CEO - HBC Promised Ghana and John Eliasu Mahama, Member - People's Health Movement/Ghana completed the World Health Organization’s Organization’s Online Course: Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage and WACI Health and Global Health Partners' Anglophone Country Trainer of Trainers.
Domestic Health Financing
Health financing refers to the “function of a health system concerned with the mobilization, accumulation and allocation of money to cover the health needs of the people, individually and collectively, in the health system… the purpose of health financing is to make funding available, as well as to set the right financial incentives to providers, to ensure that all individuals have access to effective public health and personal health care.” (WHO, 2000)
Universal Health Coverage
UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services that they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and pallative care. UHC related policies relate to actions linked with Health Systems that include coverage, elimination of out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
“Budget Advocacy” is a strategic approach to influence governments’ budget choices, aimed at achieving clear and specific outcomes—e.g., healthier people, less poverty, or improved governance. Effective advocacy will build toward attaining them with smaller concrete steps, such as increased budget allocations and more solid oversight of how funds are spent.
About UHC Ghana
“It is envisagesd that all stakeholders, at all levels, including political actors, shall be guided by the tenets of this (Ghana National Health) Policy, and provide the needed leadership and support for its implementation for current and successive governments.” – Nana Addo, President – Republic of Ghana.
Multiple strategies, guidelines, and other documents exist that emphasize the critical role civil society plays in advocating for accessible and quality health care, it is important CSOs are actively participating in these platforms. However, there are CSO engagement challenges at the global and country-level that are and continue to be even more challenging in emergency response planning, budgeting and monitoring, such as for COVID-19.
To address these challenges, there is a need to strengthen the capacity and support of civil society organizations that ensures meaningful participation in health programming, financing, budget advocacy and accountability. The UHC Ghana Project through funding provided by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Global Financing Facility (GFF);Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UHC 2030; and the Partnership for Maternal, New-born and Child Health (PMNCH) developed a Ghana based Joint Learning Agenda to provide training and support on Domestic Health Financing (DHF), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Budget Advocacy (BA) and accountability in favour of health financing. The goal of the training was to build in-country capacity in health financing and promote a multi-stakeholder collaboration that will hold, in a constructive way, governments and donors accountable for the level and use of funding allocated to health.
The UHC Ghana Project in Ghana is part a larger Joint Learning Agenda for CSO engagement in Health Financing for 10 Anglophone Countries (i.e., Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda.) and 10 Francophone Countries (i.e.,). The UHC Ghana Project provides CSOs with skills, tools and support to request further transparency on health funding (including external funding) mobilisation, allocation and execution; and to conduct budget monitoring and advocacy around health spending on COVID-19 response and recovery through strong and resilient health systems that contribute both to health security and UHC.
This project was able to develop a team of Master Trainers in Ghana who are able to provide training on Domestic Health Financing (DHF), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Budget Advocacy (BA) to civil society actors, media organizations and elected officials at the national level, and to provide support and mentoring to CSOs engaged in these activities in Ghana.
This training allowed participants to acquire the skills necessary to:
- Engage in issues of health financing and budget advocacy;
- Identify inefficiencies in budget allocation towards health programs in relation to demand and provide recommendations for optimal allocations;
- Understand the national budgeting process and the opportunities to influence the allocation of the health budget; Monitor the effective implementation of health budgets and make recommendations to resolve the low absorption bottlenecks; and
- Produce and present health policy briefs with evidence-based conclusions and recommendations Identify and collaborate with partners/influencers.
While the external funding for this project ended (i.e. May 2023), HBC Promised Ghana is actively seeking resources and funding to provide capacity building and technical assistance services to CSOs in Ghana. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ghana UHC Project Leaders John Eliasu Mahama (john@UHCGhana.org • 024 698 9705) or LaMont “Montee” Evans (montee@UHCGhana.org • 050-579-2325).