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L4UHC prepares to evolve

After successfully completing its last two cycles in Africa and Asia, the L4UHC programme is preparing to evolve to take into account growing demand and the challenges highlighted by COVID, as well as lessons learned over the programme’s last two years.

So far, more than 160 people from 14 countries in Africa and Asia have taken part in the leadership programme – the only initiative of its kind that brings together senior representatives from different sectors to build sustainable coalitions that accelerate the roll-out of UHC in their countries.

And it’s produced some impressive results through its participants’ ‘collective action initiatives’. Examples range from Pakistan increasing enrolment in its social health insurance scheme in a major district from 40% to 59% through to Nepal reducing irrational drug prescriptions in one district from 45% to 25%. There have also been significant advances in countries such as Burkino Faso and Senegal, as participants explain in our new series of video interviews.

As a recent independent evaluation of the programme by Oxford Policy Management noted, “L4UHC plays an important role in the global UHC ecosystem.” Significantly, 85% of participants surveyed as part of the evaluation said that they would recommend the programme to others.

One of the key features of the programme is that it helps UHC leaders develop the skills adapt to different and changing circumstances, and the programme itself also now needs to adapt.  Specifically, it will be returning in 2021 with additional financial support from France and new delivery approaches in order to meet rising demand and the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

Moreover, the WHO will take on the role of coordinating the programme, with the aim of establishing a long-term institutional framework for joint ownership and sustainable financing by 2023, in line with the recommendations from the evaluation. This was agreed in November 2020 by the P4H Steering Group level, including representatives from France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, WHO, and World Bank.

As we prepare for this important phase in the programme’s development, we will take a short break to develop its content and delivery channels, working closely with P4H and our partners around the globe. During this period, we will continue to provide in-country support through our local P4H partners. We expect the next cycle of L4UHC in Africa and Asia to start in the fall of 2021.

We’re confident that the new programme in 2021 will make a significant difference, and look forward to working with everyone in the coming year.