Cross-Cultural Exchange on Health System Performance


A workshop was held on 16 to 20 July in Basel, Switzerland, bringing together over 60 Swiss TPH employees including 37 from 14 countries in West and Central Africa and the Middle East.

The workshop in Basel, Switzerland brought together over 60 colleagues from the Systems Performance and Monitoring Unit (SPMU) at Swiss TPH. (Photo: Joachim Pelikan / Swiss TPH)

Well-functioning health systems are fundamental for providing sustainable healthcare to populations in low- and middle-income countries. Performance assessment and monitoring in particular provide an important basis for analysing the impact of programmes on health systems strengthening. The Systems Performance and Monitoring Unit (SPMU) at Swiss TPH concentrates their efforts in these areas, with a focus on their role as Local Fund Agents (LFA) on behalf of the Global Fund.

The workshop in Basel brought together members of SPMU from over 14 countries including Benin, Gambia, Senegal, Yemen, Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Jordania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria to discuss issues around procurement, financing and monitoring of health programmes. The workshop also provided an opportunity to discuss security issues related to travel and local offices, particularly in countries with extremely challenging environments.

"The greatest benefit of the workshop was bringing together colleagues from around the world to exchange information and knowledge," said Mohammad Ali Saeed Mohammad, a senior finance professional at Swiss TPH in Yemen. "The information provided was useful and will be applied in the LFA field work in the coming period."

Systems Performance and Monitoring

Swiss TPH has been acting as a LFA since 2003 in a total of 23 different countries in Africa, South East Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the REDCA region. The LFA is independently contracted to oversee program performance and the appropriate use of funds. This includes tasks such as reviewing proposed budgets and work plans or assisting the Global Fund in grant negotiations and grant closure. SPMU is currently leading the performance monitoring of Global Fund grants.

"After all those years acting as LFAs in different countries, this one-week workshop was a unique opportunity to gather staff with key technical expertise at the same time and the same place to exchange information and experience as well as brainstorm on future projects and collaboration." said Odile Pham-Tan, Head of SPMU at Swiss TPH.

Swiss Centre for International Health

SPMU is part of the Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH), a leading global health consultancy and project implementation provider and a department of Swiss TPH. SCIH aims to strengthen health systems and improve access to health services in low and middle income countries, especially for the most vulnerable groups.