Enabling demand for services
Currently, 400 million people do not have access to essential health services. Six per cent of people in low- and middle- income countries are tipped into or pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending. Ensuring that people are able to access the essential health services they need without being pushed further into financial hardship is central to the principle of universal coverage of health care.
Options’ strategies aim to balance demand and supply so that health systems can better meet their citizens’ needs. We enable people to access better services by generating data on the quality of health facilities so that providers can plan and manage the systems in response to people’s needs. Our community-based approaches raise awareness amongst women and their families of the rights to health care and promote accountability so that communities can effectively demand better quality services.
Our technical experts work in partnership at all levels from communities to national governments to:
- Increase the accessibility, use and quality of services and generate investment for better quality health services. This is done through new approaches to health financing with a focus on Results Based Financing.
- Improve the use of services and allow low-income families to access essential services by subsidising the costs of health care through demand-side financing approaches, such as voucher schemes and conditional cash transfer programmes.
- Strengthen national mechanisms to collect funds and make decisions about how most effectively to spend those funds on healthcare through social health insurance programmes.
- Conduct and disseminate research so that planners and decision-makers have the evidence they need to design and deliver high-quality services. We use methods such as Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER) to understand the needs of communities, and undertake pilots to test new approaches to increasing access.
- Raise awareness of poor people’s right to high-quality health care services, and promote family health and well-being. Empower women and communities, especially the most vulnerable, to make choices and prioritise actions through participatory learning and action approaches and advocacy.
- Empower poor women and communities to demand better quality services and to hold decision-makers to account. We do this by strengthening accountability mechanisms, such as Facility Health Committees, and using data, such as Quality of Institutional Care (QuIC) data, to review progress.