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Good governance strengthens health systems
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June 2015 (Issue 6)

Good Governance Strengthens Health Systems

How Does Governance Support Health Workers, Systems, and Outcomes? (Photo: Rui Pires)
Good Governance Improves Health in Afghanistan: One Village’s Story (Photo: Jawad Jalali/Afghan Eyes)
(Photo: Rui Pires)
Good Governance Will Improve West African Health Systems (Photo: Katy Doyle/MSH)
Six Lessons Learned From ‘Unleashing the Power of Good Governance’  (Photo: Warren Zelman)
What do we mean by governance? Governance is a structured process used by a group of people -- often referred to as a governing body, board, or council -- to make decisions about policy, plans, and rules of collective action for an organization or system. For health organizations, the focus of this collective action is strengthening health systems to expand access to quality health services and achieve sustainable gains in health outcomes.

How Does Governance Support Health Workers, Systems, and Outcomes? (Photo: Rui Pires)

Is governance the same as leadership and management? No. But smart leaders invest time to develop smart governing bodies. Smart governing bodies create the conditions in which health workers and program managers are more likely to secure the medicines, staff, equipment, supplies, and facilities they need to save lives and improve health. But, the work of governing bodies does not happen automatically.

Good governance is more likely realized when those who lead, manage, and deliver health services make a personal commitment to understand and demand it by exploring the many facets of good and poor governance, embracing good governance, and combating poor governance. We call this intentional governance.

I blog more about how intentional governance supports health workers, systems, and outcomes here.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is supporting intentional governance among governing bodies at national and sub-national levels of the health system around the globe, from Afghanistan village health councils (shuras) to sub-national governing bodies in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and the multinational West African Health Organization, among others.

This newsletter showcases some of these examples and provides tools and resources for you to start utilizing smarter, intentional governance today. By designing and institutionalizing smart governance practices, health organizations and health systems can perform better and deliver sustainable gains in health outcomes -- saving the lives of the most vulnerable women, children, and men.

Join us in the journey toward good governance for better health outcomes!

Jim Rice~ James A. Rice, PhD
Global Technical Lead, Governance
Management Sciences for Health
Photo: Rui Pires

PROFILE

A “Matter of Life and Death”: Health Governance in Ethiopia

Health Governance in Ethiopia (Photo: MSH staff)
Jemal Mohammed has worked in the global health sector for 21 years -- more than seven of those at MSH -- dedicating his career to working on sustainable health interventions that can improve entire health systems.

As country project director of USAID's Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project in Ethiopia, Jemal works with health leaders, managers, and policymakers to help ensure that investments in leadership, management, and governance lead to stronger health systems.


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Ethiopia | National and sub-national governance

HIGHLIGHTS

Good Governance Improves Women's Health in Afghanistan: One Village’s Story

Good Governance Improves Health in Afghanistan: One Village’s Story (Photo: Jawad Jalali/Afghan Eyes)
A training on governance empowered an Afghanistan village health council (shura) to understand their role and responsibility as the community's governing body to intervene to improve access to and quality of health services for women. When the shura realized women weren't going to the clinic because it didn't have a female doctor, they intervened.

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Afghanistan | Village Health governance
Photo: Jawad Jalali/Afghan Eyes

Promoting Effective Board Governance for NGOs in Uganda

Promoting Effective Board Governance for NGOs in Uganda (Photo: Rui Pires)
Examples of MSH’s work helping executive boards of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Uganda improve governance.

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Uganda | NGOs | Executive board governance
Photo: Rui Pires

Good Governance Will Improve West African Health Systems

Good Governance in West Africa (Photo: Katy Doyle/MSH)
The Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, funded by USAID and led by MSH, is helping the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and its member countries improve their governance, which will improve the performance of the region’s health systems and, ultimately, help prevent future epidemics.

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West Africa | National and regional governance
Photo: Katy Doyle/MSH

Six Lessons Learned From ‘Unleashing the Power of Good Governance’

Six Lessons Learned From ‘Unleashing the Power of Good Governance’ (Photo: Warren Zelman)
Ninety-three participants representing 75 organizations from over 35 countries discussed challenges to good governance among public and civil society organizations, and how to overcome them. Here are six takeaways from this recent peer-to-peer and guided web-based learning.

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Global | Health leaders | knowledge sharing
Photo: Warren Zelman

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Govern4Health mobile application
The Govern4Health mobile application demystifies health governance by providing practical tasks and activities for health leaders, managers, and those who govern. The app offers evidence on why governance matters, a tool to assess gender responsiveness, and tips on how to continually enhance governance.

Download the app for iPhone or Android now.

Coming soon...

Leaders Who Govern (coming soon)
This Summer, two new governance resources will be available from MSH: Leaders Who Govern, a digital resource to empower those who lead, manage, and deliver health services to be more effective governing; and a three-part governance course on USAID's Global Health eLearning Center. Stay tuned!

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Stronger health systems. Greater health impact.
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of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people
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A world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life.
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