June 23, 2009—Financing health care is one of the most difficult policy challenges facing governments everywhere. How to ensure that all citizens have access to health services? How to sustain financing for health care that ensures high quality, choices, and nationwide coverage? How to achieve these goals in a poor country, where the government’s budget is severely constrained? Policymakers who must deal with these problems can benefit from exposure to financing arrangements for health as applied in other countries, but there are few opportunities for them to learn about them.
WBI's Program on Health Sector Reform and Sustainable Financing developed with Harvard University is an example of structured learning. The program includes content on policy levers such as financing, contracting, organization, regulation, and persuasion. WBI draws on staff from more than 23 universities and research institutions such as Harvard University, York University, McMaster University, the National University of Singapore, Semmelweis University, and the China Health Economics Network.
WBI's role in China has been to design and deliver strategic retail programs and learning materials that can be used and adapted by selected partner institutions.
The China program has nurtured the China Health Economics Network, which customizes and delivers the health flagship course. South-South learning between China and Africa is led by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC), an institution set up specifically for this purpose. IPRCC has been identifying those aspects of China's development experience that are most relevant for other countries.
The Program on Health Sector Reform and Sustainable Financing has reached some 18,000 policy makers, managers, implementers, and donor representatives from more than 70 partner countries, who have completed short-term training events of 1 to 3 weeks.
In a large decentralized country like China, the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) and distance learning technologies feature prominently in the wholesaling process. For example, Western China alone has 12 provincial-level learning centers, and the network will be expanding to include 54 centers at the prefecture level.
WBI's role in China has been to design and deliver strategic retail programs and learning materials that can be used and adapted by selected partner institutions. At the same time, WBI has been delivering courses in learning design and pedagogy to build the capacity of partner institutions such as the Ministry of Finance Training Department, the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center, provincial administrative colleges, and others.