Finance strategy: A must for NTD program sustainability
March 19th, 2015
Sustainable health programming depends on comprehensive planning. However, many health strategies omit a crucial component: a finance strategy that outlines a plan for mobilizing and managing financial resources to help meet program objectives. Without resources, there is no program!
USAID’s END in Africa program works with five West African countries–Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo–to help control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Each END country has a robust NTD Master Plan that guides program goals and objectives. However until recently, none had a corresponding finance strategy that outlined their plans for financing their national NTD program. A finance strategy helps national NTD programs to allocate resources effectively, mobilize additional resources to fill financing gaps, reduce financial dependence on donors, increase national commitment to the NTD Program, and diversify resources: critical components to sustainability.
As part of the FHI360-led END in Africa team, Deloitte Consulting LLP is working with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) by providing a framework for institutionalizing an NTD Finance Strategy that is aligned with the NTD Master Plan.
The process started with financial sampling and an organizational maturity model exercise, which takes a collaborative approach in examining the state of the NTD financial management system and reveals challenges and potential opportunities for improvement. As the GHS and NTD country teams drove the process, the exercise enabled them to align the national NTD program with their self-defined performance priorities.
From there, the END in Africa team examined NTD revenue and expenditures and developed a current-state map of funding sources and distribution, in consultation with many stakeholders at the central and regional levels.
Inviting the national team to take the lead and encouraging collaboration in these activities fostered local ownership and produced a plan to mobilize financial resources for NTD programming. We believe that this process can work for other health and public sector programs, too.
We invite you to follow this four-part series to learn more about the Finance Strategy Development process and to discover ways to improve the financial sustainability of your own program goals.