Online Program

Strengthening health systems in Liberia: Prioritizing capacity building initiatives in three counties

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Heather Drummond, MPH, Division of Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Purpose: To prioritize capacity building interventions based on capacity assessment results for three County Health Teams in Liberia. Information Used: Results from capacity building prioritization exercises conducted after sharing capacity assessment results with County Health Teams from Bong, Lofa, and Nimba counties in Liberia. Methods: Capacity assessments based on the WHO Six Building Blocks of a Health System were conducted in three counties in early 2012. In the summer of 2012, results from these assessments were shared with the County Health Teams, and team members were asked to determine whether capacity building recommendations should be addressed in the short term (<6 months) or longer term (>6 months). Results: The lowest assessed building block for all counties was health systems financing. All three counties prioritized conducting monthly financial reviews of budget versus expenditures, and generating monthly financial reports. Other prioritized initiatives for all three counties in other building blocks included training supervisors to provide supportive supervision of staff, and training health facility staff to work with implementing partners (NGOs). Recommendations: While all counties performed similarly in many areas, there were unique circumstances that required different capacity building priorities for each county. Providing a system of capacity building that includes prioritizing initiatives can lead to sustainable systematic improvements for developing health systems. However, this process may require technical assistance from outside organizations that can objectively manage the capacity building process.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe methods to prioritize capacity building interventions. Identify how to manage a capacity building process at the county level. Formulate possible explanations for differences between county health team capacity building priority areas.

Keyword(s): International Systems, Public Health Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a capacity building intern on this project and spent three months in Liberia working on this project. I participated in data collection, analysis and drafting of results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.