KIGALI, RWANDA — The Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC) was officially launched today at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC). Supported by Results for Development (R4D) and hosted by Amref Health Africa, SPARC is a new resource hub that aims to strengthen strategic purchasing capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As countries across Africa strengthen reforms to advance progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), strategic purchasing can play a central role in helping countries make efficient use of scarce health resources to improve access to quality services as well as financial protection.
Strategic purchasing means deliberately deciding which health services and medicines to purchase, from which providers, and how to pay for them. Countries that have made significant progress towards UHC have leveraged strategic purchasing to direct limited funds for health to priority populations and services, whilst creating the right incentives to use funds efficiently to improve quality of health care.
“For all people to have equitable access to affordable quality health services, a process for active decision-making about which services to purchase, from whom and how to go about paying for them in a cost-effective manner is critical,” said Nathaniel Otoo, the executive director of SPARC.
SPARC’s unique model will leverage the capacities of strategic purchasing experts based in Africa through a coaching and mentoring approach to support the development of practical, home-grown solutions that meet countries’ strategic purchasing needs, leaving behind critical contextual capacity in the process. As such, SPARC will empower countries with the knowledge and practical tools to make access to affordable and quality health care a reality for all.
“I like to think of strategic purchasing as a kind of hidden secret of UHC. It’s not only an enabling factor, but also a benefit”, said Dr. Cheryl Cashin, managing director at Results for Development. She further indicated that “Strategic purchasing creates more opportunity to shape how resources are used, which allows countries to create incentives to drive efficiency. In other words, strategic purchasing and UHC can become a mutually reinforcing, virtuous cycle.”
About Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa is the largest international health development organisation based in Africa. Working with and through African communities, health systems and governments, Amref Health Africa’s vision is to bring lasting health change in Africa. We are committed to improving the health of people in Africa by partnering with and empowering communities, and strengthening health systems. With headquarters in Kenya, Amref Health Africa has offices in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Southern Africa and West Africa providing services to over 30 countries. Employing over 900 staff and with an annual operating budget of approximately $100 million, Amref Health Africa is a knowledge resource for donors and partners. For more information, visit https://amref.org/.
About Results for Development
Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too. For more information, visit our website at: www.r4d.org