Building capacity to strengthen the health system

Options managed the DFID-funded Technical Assistance Management Agency (TAMA) – a programme of targeted support to build the technical and management capacity of the Ministries of Health and Population Welfare across seven key areas of the government’s health programmes, including HIV & AIDS, malaria, TB, nutrition, population welfare, the Lady Health Worker programme and immunisation.

The TAMA procured and managed technical assistance assignments, providing expertise to federal, provincial, and district levels of government across Pakistan. The team worked closely with the government to analyse and prioritise needs, ensuring strategic use of technical assistance to improve policy, planning and management in the health sector. The TAMA project was demand driven, the project worked closely with the Ministries of Health and Population Welfare to establish robust procurement guidelines along with monitoring and evaluation procedures for contracting technical assistance.

Among its key achievements, TAMA supported the establishment of a National Health Policy Unit, assisted the Government of Pakistan to develop a maternal, newborn and child health programme, assessed and expanded its HIV and AIDS programme, developed a public and private partnership model for the TB programme, developed programme strategies for malaria, nutrition, population and health education programmes, and devised strategies for devolution of the health and population programmes to provincial and district levels. TAMA also assisted the provincial government of NWFP in developing quality of health care standards and a system for their monitoring.

The TAMA project is held in high regard for being a successful model of government ownership, while maintaining independence and transparency in a challenging political environment. TAMA procured and managed a total of 179 different technical assistance assignments, making a strong contribution to strengthening the health system, and increasing the use of public health services, particularly by the poor.

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