Following a highly competitive partner selection process, Amref Health Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, has been chosen to host the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC) — a new initiative aimed at strengthening strategic health purchasing in sub-Saharan Africa to get more value for money from health spending on the continent. Strategic purchasing recognizes that funding for health is limited, so it involves purchasing health services and medicines on behalf of populations by actively making transparent and efficient decisions about which services and medicines to buy, which providers will deliver them, and the mechanisms through which providers will be paid.
SPARC is designed to be a sustainable initiative housed within an existing Africa-based institution. The goal of SPARC is to connect and build on the breadth of existing expertise in strategic purchasing in sub-Saharan Africa, and deepen this expertise to offer context-specific partnerships to build strategic purchasing capacity in response to country demand. SPARC is being launched by Results for Development (R4D) in partnership with Amref Health Africa, and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. An advisory committee made up of key global, regional and country stakeholders has provided input and guidance to position SPARC as a complementary resource and partner to the many health financing initiatives on the African continent and globally.
“The Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center will only be successful if it has strong partnerships,” said Nathaniel Otoo, SPARC’s Africa director and a senior fellow at R4D. “That’s why we’re delighted to announce Amref Health Africa as SPARC’s institutional home. This partnership is an important step in building a vibrant network of institutions and individuals committed to improving strategic health purchasing to get better value for money in health systems across Africa.”
Through a rigorous six-month process of selection that considered a number of strong African institutions, Amref Health Africa was identified as the partner to host SPARC based on its institutional strength, ability to form strategic partnerships, geographic reach, deep roots in communities in Africa, and capacity to complement universal health coverage efforts in the region. Amref Health Africa, founded in Kenya in 1957, is a leading Africa-based international organization with health-focused services and programs in 35 countries.
“Amref Health Africa is pleased to host the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center, and we look forward to connecting with partners as we start to work,” said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa. “Improving strategic purchasing within health care throughout sub-Saharan Africa is vital if countries are to attain universal health coverage by 2030.”
SPARC will benefit from Amref Health Africa’s reach across sub-Saharan Africa to foster strong partnerships across the continent to continue to build expertise on strategic purchasing and broker support based on country demand. Through these partnerships SPARC will help promote evidence-informed policymaking that leads to better health spending and facilitates learning and sharing of best practices in health purchasing.
Stay tuned for more news about SPARC’s emerging partnerships, and congratulations to Amref Health Africa on its selection to host the initiative.
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.
About Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa, the largest African-led international organization on the continent, reaches more than 11 million people each year through 150 health-focused projects across 35 countries. Founded in Kenya in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa, Amref Health Africa’s strategic pillars focus the organization’s work around human resources for health, innovative health services and solutions, and investments in health. Our partnerships with communities in Africa to create lasting health change are at the heart of all we do. www.amref.org