The impact of donor funding modalities on maternal newborn and child health: a Health Transition Fund case study of Zimbabwe
Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : This research assignment sought to examine the effect of donor funding modalities on health service provision and access in Zimbabwe. The specific objectives were to understand the effects of donor funding on maternal, newborn and child health; to examine the factors that influence the effectiveness of the Health Transition Fund on maternal, newborn and child health; and to analyse the challenges faced by the Health Transition Fund in financing maternal, newborn and child health. The research methodology used entailed interviewing various experts in the fields of health financing and maternal, newborn and child health, using a literature survey as well as observation. The conceptual framework used the basket fund model to help navigate the structures and processes of the Health Transition Fund. In terms of findings, consistent with the literature, most of the interviewees agreed that the Health Transition Fund has a significant impact on the health sector in general and on maternal, newborn and child health in particular. However, it was felt by health experts that the mortality levels remained unexceptionally high as a result of macro-economic instability, despite the huge investments in health. Nevertheless, this does not undermine the lessons and advantages of the basket fund model under the Health Transition Fund between 2011 and 2015, which has seen more donors who had continued to run their own autonomous programmes now being drafted into the new multi-donor pool of funds from 2016 – 2020, known as the Health Development Fund. The centrality of human resources retention and motivation has been embedded through a results-based facility scheme, in which staff gets an extra allowance on their salary. The Health Development Funds’ ability to remove user fees has increased access to health services in general for maternal and lactating mothers and under-five children. The research uncovered discrepancies in the application of the policy of user fees, which made the case for a much broader investment in the health sector to include issues such as reproductive health and nutrition. Further research is needed in light of deepening economic and political challenges in Zimbabwe. There is also need to research further the relationship between the Health Transition Fund as managed by United Nations Children's Emergency Fund and other interventions as managed by United Nations Population Fund to comparatively understand the merits of the health financing initiatives.
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