Health financing

We support national and sub-national governments and partners to implement financing solutions that enable more efficient, effective and equitable delivery of health services.  We are driven by the goal of achieving universal health coverage. By using a health systems approach, our support ensures financial risk protection and access to quality health care services for all.  Our health financing expertise focuses on four strategic areas:

1. We support ministries of health to identify and implement health financing solutions to overcome bottlenecks in the health system

We work with ministries of health to ensure that scarce public funds are channelled where they are needed most, with minimal delay and maximum efficiency.  We develop and use a range of analytical tools to identify health system challenges and provide tailored solutions to addressing bottlenecks in the system. For example:

  • We undertake Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs) to examine the extent to which public spending in health aligns with stated priorities and identify opportunities to make better use of available funds.
  • We develop funding flow maps for government partners to highlight existing barriers to the efficient flow of funds and the financial gaps to implement current commitments.
  • We provide public financial management expertise to governments to ensure strategic allocation and efficient use of resources. 
  • We support the design and implementation of Performance Based Financing (PBF) schemes to address health systems challenges such as stock-outs of medicines and supplies, staffing gaps and infrastructure weaknesses. 

2We support advocacy and accountability for improved investment in health

Working with local government, civil society organisations, and accountability groups, we advocate for the prioritisation of health within government budgets. We support those groups to hold governments to account for their resource allocation and expenditure commitments.  For example:

  • We analyse and package evidence on the importance of investing in family planning and maternal health, and present it to parliamentarians and decision-makers at national and sub-national levels. 
  • We build capacity of civil society groups to undertake budget analysis to assess the extent to which budget allocations align with national or sub-national priorities and commitments, and budget tracking to monitor how allocated funds are being disbursed and used.
  • We provide technical expertise to accountability coalitions to hold their governments accountable for commitments made as part of international and national initiatives, such as FP2020, or the Global Financing Facility. 
  • We demystify financing and economic arguments in health by presenting evidence in accessible ways for diverse audiences including the media and civil society, thus enabling them to make the case for additional funding and hold government to account for how this is spent.  

See examples of our work here.

3. We support strategies to increase financial risk protection

We help design and implement innovative demand-side financing schemes, as well as leverage existing health financing mechanisms, such as health insurance or fee waiver schemes, to ensure that those most in need can access essential health services.  For example:

4. We influence global policy and practice on health financing

We work with key players that shape global policy on health financing to ensure that strategic guidance is grounded in the realities of what works in practice. By drawing on evidence from our programmes as well as the wealth of experience of our country teams, we bring valuable perspectives that help to inform practical and workable solutions for health financing goals.  For example:

  • We document progress made at the country level so that national governments and donors can learn from these experiences.
  • We have mapped multilateral donor approaches to aid transition, identifying the key risks of a change in donor financing and recommending how donors and recipient countries can manage this transition.
  • We are currently undertaking a review of the ways in which European donor governments seek to support and incentivise domestic resource mobilization for SRHR.  Based on this we will develop advocacy recommendations for Countdown 2030 Europe.

Results

In Nepal, Aama increased the number of women delivering in a facility from 18% to 55% between 2006 and 2014

In Malawi, 140,872 women have delivered their babies safely in a RBF supported facility

In Kenya, between November 2015 and November 2016 11,342 vouchers were distributed to poor mothers in Bungoma enabling them access quality maternal and newborn health services

In Yemen as of April 2016,24,404 women received a safe motherhood voucher and used it to deliver in a facility

For more information:
+44 (0)20 7430 1900

Our experts

  • Corinne Grainger
    Corinne Grainger has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant providing technical assistance to reproductive, maternal and newborn health programmes. Corinne is a health financing specialist with expertise in results based financing approaches to increase access to quality health services. She has supported design of RBF and voucher programmes in Malawi, Yemen, Pakistan and Mozambique.
  • Sarah Fox
    Sarah Fox is a health economist with over ten years’ experience in health systems strengthening and health financing across more than 20 low and middle income countries. Sarah’s expertise includes support to health financing reforms, strategic planning and policy development, social franchising, results-based financing, costing and expenditure tracking. Much of Sarah’s work has been in the context of sexual and reproductive health and family planning programmes. Sarah has worked for Ministries of Health, both directly as an embedded technical assistant in Sierra Leone, and as a consultant in countries including Cameroun, Kenya, Liberia, Republic of Congo, South Africa, South Sudan and Tanzania.
  • Alice Sabino
    Alice Sabino, as Senior Technical Lead on Health Financing at Options, is responsible for providing technical assistance to health financing and system strengthening projects. Alice is a health financing and public policy specialist, with experience advising national governments in low and middle income countries on health financing and systems reforms, budgeting and planning for health. She holds Masters degrees in International Relations and Public Health. She is particularly interested in systems thinking, decision making and prioritisation processes, and equity.

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More about Options
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.

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