Health Systems | World Bank Institute (WBI)

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. We connect practitioners and institutions to help them find suitable solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the "how" of reform, we link knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations. Read More »

Health Systems


Malnutrition and anemia, as well as malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, are still widespread.  Cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases are on the rise.

Access to health services is reduced by health system inefficiencies and deficiencies, including ill-equipped facilities, drug shortages, too few staff, and gaps in their skills. Poor people are affected most and least able to afford treatment. Illness often drives families (deeper) into poverty.

Health systems are complex. They require high levels of human capital and financing, a clear vision, and strong leadership. Countries must plan and allocate their limited resources efficiently to meet their many pressing needs.


The World Bank Institute's (WBI's) Health Systems practice helps countries improve their health systems. By making knowledge available and helping build leadership skills and consensus around health system solutions, we aim to enable practitioners to design and implement their own solutions and innovative approaches to tough policy challenges by:

  • Improving health system performance, emphasizing improving the health of the poor
  • Increasing financial risk protection at times of serious illness or injury
  • Improving responsiveness of health providers to clients and patients



We offer excellent technical content through e-learning, face-to-face training, South-South knowledge exchange events and platforms, and communities of practice. We work with global, regional, and national institutions and practitioner networks—connecting globally to deliver locally.

Our work aims to:

  • Transfer and facilitate use of state-of-the-art technical knowledge on health systems, particularly on financing and payment, service delivery, institutional organization, regulation, governance, health outcomes, and strategic planning
  • Develop the capacity of regional networks of partner institutions
  • Create space and opportunities to exchange knowledge and experience
  • Help develop leadership and consensus-building skills for transformational change
  • Develop and foster communities of practitioners who share similar policy reform goals


Contact Us

For questions on the program, please send an e-mail to

WBI Brochure: Focus on Health Systems Strengthening  (PDF 1.5 MB)