Do you think that new technologies can boost efficiency and good governance in RBF systems? You have ideas or experiences to share? Join us in a technical meeting of the Performance-Based-Financing Community of Practice organized from 28th April to 1st May 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
You can access the detailed program here.
Towards a more efficient health sector in Africa
For many years now, multiple countries in Africa have engaged in large-scale health financing reform for improving health outcomes. Result Based Financing is frequently at the heart of these reforms with countries adopting both supply side (such as PBF) and demand side RBF mechanisms (such as conditional cash transfers and vouchers).
Both supply side and demand side systems rely on effective data systems that need to be supported by adequate technology platforms.
In supply side RBF systems, information technology (IT) is used for administrative management of RBF/PBF such as decentralized result declaration, RBF subsidies calculations, managing verification processes or production of bank transfer orders. Information technology is also used for strategic purchasing, budget follow up, and transparency and benchmarking. Currently, countries use a set of web based open source instruments such as OpenRBF or DHIS2 or sometimes stand alone technical solutions. For example, you can visualize RBF data from Zambia, Benin, or Burundi.
In demand side systems, IT is used for conditional cash transfers (CCT) and voucher management. The features of the CCT and voucher system include: patient follow up, provider accreditation, voucher and fraud tracking, budget follow up and reseller management. Currently, projects and countries use a broad set of IT instruments.
Why a technical meeting on ICT and Result based financing?
New technologies are already used in existing Result Based Financing systems. Cloud computing has improved data flows, reduced transaction costs and facilitated financial transfers. Mobile phones are facilitating demand side financing instruments. But future RBF systems will even more rely on new technologies.
New projects are going in several directions. For example, countries are starting to explore how to better share verified RBF data with the general public, partners and authorities. This requires the development of specific web dashboards and data visualization instruments that Cameroon, Benin and Burundi are currently piloting. Data could also be shared in an active way by email or text messages. Vouchers scheme are migrating to eVouchers, and the voucher coupons are becoming text message codes. Some projects are trying to reinvent community participation: patients will be allowed to send their feedback about providers by mobile phone and the comment will be displayed on the public OpenRBF provider webpage. Other projects aims to use smartphones to collect patient feedback and verification data, or tablets for quality assessment of providers.
The potential of new technologies is obvious. It is the right time to work together on how these technologies can be harnessed effectively to boost health outcomes.
Share your experience, learn from your peers
The objective of this meeting is that CoP members share new technological developments, implementation experiences, identify shared issues and problems, draw best practices. Like any other CoP events, we expect fruitful interactions, interesting encounters and multiple new ideas.
During the meeting, we will also test the idea to create a working group within the RBF CoP that will take the lead on new technologies for RBF.
If you want to know more details, please check the detailed program.
Nicolas de Borman, Alfred Antoine Uzabakaliho, Cheikna Toure, Randy Wilson and Olivier Basenya