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Nepal Health Sector Support Programme

Supporting the government of Nepal to build a resilient health system that enables quality health services to be delivered with no one left behind


Options delivers embedded technical assistance (TA) to the government of Nepal as part of the UK aid-funded Nepal Health Sector Programme. The aim of the technical assistance is to build a resilient health system that delivers quality services for all. Since 2010, we have supported two successive Health Sector Strategies of the Nepal Ministry of Health and Population.


We focussed on strengthening the performance and interconnectedness of the health system building blocks: essential health service delivery, strategic information, procurement of commodities, health infrastructure, health financing and policy. Working at the federal level, our experts worked within government departments to:

  • Integrate gender and social inclusion across the health system’s building blocks and down through the health service delivery structure.
  • Strengthen and expand equitable delivery of quality essential health care, including access to comprehensive obstetric care in case of an emergency during childbirth.
  • Improve the quality and use of evidence in planning and delivery of health care.
  • Improve health commodity procurement systems.
  • Develop services that are accessible to all.
  • Strengthen health financing and public financial management to ensure that systems are operational, responsive, sustainable, transparent and are linked to planning.
2017 onwards

In response to devolution of the Nepal health system, our TA expanded to select provinces and local levels. Our experienced advisors worked closely with health sector staff to enhance institutional and individual capacities to deliver the Nepal Health Sector Strategy in the federal context.

In this phase, the programme addressed:

  1. Leadership and governance: improving health sector stewardship through better policymaking, planning, procurement and financial management.
  2. Coverage and quality: institutionalising sustainable quality assurance and improvement processes with access to quality basic healthcare services.
  3. Data for decision-making: facilitating the use of high-quality data to enable decision-making.

Cutting across and supporting these are:

  • Health infrastructure: retrofitting priority hospitals to be multi-hazard resilient, supporting integrated health infrastructure development planning, capacity enhancement and policy development.
  • Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI): supporting the health sector to develop policies and implement strategies to address gender-based violence and reach marginalised and vulnerable groups.

NHSSP 2 was implemented in partnership with Crown Agents and Oxford Policy Management. NHSSP 3, from 2017 to 2022, was implemented by a Nepali-led team which brought together technical expertise from Options, HERD International, and Oxford Policy Management.

As responsive, flexible TA, we have adapted our approach to meet the needs of changing and challenging contexts. We supported earthquake recovery and the transition to federalisation in 2015. We also assisted the Nepal government to respond to Covid-19 in 2020. Options continues to provide support for initiation of the Nepal Health Sector Strategic Plan 2023 – 2030.

Programme impact


Reduction in Nepal’s maternal mortality ratio from 539 deaths per 100,000 livebirths in 1996, to 151 in 2021 which our work contributed to.


gender-based survivors served through One-Stop Crisis Management Centres in 2022 compared to 187 in 2011.


Health facilities reporting disaggregated data to the Health Management Information System (HMIS), up from 23% in 2017.

2010 - 2023
Focus areas
Gender Equality Disability and Social Inclusion Health Security Maternal and Newborn Health Reproductive health and Family Planning
Governance and Accountability Health Financing Quality Improvement Scaling Solutions
South Asia and Asia Pacific

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