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Democratic Republic of Congo - PRSS

Health Systems Strengthening Project - Have we understood the Paris Declaration on Aid efficiency? Research on necessary institutional frame conditions and technical and financial support needed to allow the MoH to improve its coordination and management capacities of major donor investments in the health sector in DRC

The German bilateral support to the Health Systems Strengthening Project DRC is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and implemented by Health Focus, in close cooperation with EPOS Health Management and Evaplan at the University of Heidelberg.

Coordination and implementation capacity of donor contributions to the health sector is one of the key challenges the Congolese health sector is facing since many years.

Good coordination needs strong leadership and stewardship. At country level and with regards to the health sector coordination, it is the Ministry of Health who has to take the lead. Improving health of the population asks for a multi-sectoral approach. The finance, education, social services and other relevant sectors have to contribute actively, coordinated under the guidance of the MoH.

Donor funding has to be orientated by the national policy, strategies and programs, implementation of programs needs oversight by main stakeholders and monitoring by the MoH. In addition, good coordination needs alignment of donor contributions and donor specific administrative procedures to national procedures, and the Congolese government shall take the lead in this alignment process too. This understanding of national leadership and alignment is supposed to help improving efficiency and effectiveness of investments in the health sector.

Today, there is still important overlap of a multitude of different mostly donor driven coordinating mechanisms. Multiple actors such as leaders of the government, bi- and multilateral agencies, civil society organizations, private and semi public firms, international foundations and other influential actors ask for orientation. Opposing individual interests of different actors often hinder clear decision taking. Rapidly changing challenges, priorities and international agencies involved in the health related programs ask for flexibility and reactivity in coordination.

It seems to be difficult to consistently ensure broad involvement of all relevant actors in developing national policies, strategies and implementation plans. Prerequisites are credibility, trust, and responsibility of all actors concerned.

Reliable information and data is crucial for good coordination. The national information system plus eventually needed specific information and data gathering for specific health related interventions and services shall provide this reliable information needed for effective coordination.

In December 2014, we implement a research on necessary institutional arrangement and technical and financial support to allow the Congolese Government to improve coordination, management and follow-up of health sector support programs financed by international donor agencies.

The results of this study will complement essentially the different attempts undertaken in the past four years to improve national coordination capacity in the health sector of DRC.

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