Health Systems and Policies
Coverage of effective interventions is to a large extent the result of the quality and effectiveness by which health services reach people, and of people’s access to those services. Having a broader understanding of the environment in which health services are delivered and health outcomes produced is essential for increasing coverage of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health interventions and for improving health outcomes in high-burden countries.
Countdown’s Working Group on Health Systems and Policies tracks selected indicators of health policy that are necessary to increase access to and utilization of health services. These indicators are reflective of the RMNCH continuum of care, and relate to the building blocks of WHO's framework for health system strengthening.
On this page, Countdown presents data and analysis relating to progress on health systems and policies at both the global and country levels. The Health Systems and Policies Working Group’s research is summarized in the Countdown Reports, and has been presented in more detail in the following published papers:
- Leone T, Cetorelli V, Neal S, Matthews Z, Financial accessibility and user fee reforms for maternal healthcare in five sub-Saharan countries: a quasi-experimental analysis. BMJ Open 2016; 6:1 e009692. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009692. PDF
- Gupta M, Maliqi B, França A, et al., Human resources for maternal, newborn and child health: from measurement and planning to performance for improved health outcomes. Human Resources for Health. 2011, 9:16. (PDF)
- Countdown Working Group on Health Policy and Health Systems, Assessment of the health system and policy environment as a critical complement to tracking intervention coverage for maternal newborn and child health. Lancet 2008. 371 (9620): 1284-1293. (PDF)
The health systems and policy data used in Countdown’s reports and profiles are publicly available, and can be downloaded here. For more information about Countdown’s datasets, please contact the Countdown Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.