DCP3 Global Guidance in Priority Setting and Development and Revision of UHC Essential Packages of Health Services

The Disease Control Priorities 3 (DCP3) Country Translation project has developed initiatives to support countries in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ 3.8 target on Universal Health Coverage UHC). As part of its objective to refine and update the DCP3 approach and essential health packages, the DCP3 Country Translation project started an initiative to provide a body of evidence that would enable countries to design, adopt and update their Essential Packages of Health Services (EPHS) and enhance technical capacity in priority-setting for UHC.

The initiative aims to:

  1. Review country experiences in priority setting and UHC EPHS design and implementation to update DCP3 guidance for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
  2. Review DCP3 evidence and model packages, in the light of country experience, in order to update and refine areas that require further work and new evidence
  3. Based on the review of country experience, propose recommendations for strengthening technical support to LMICs in priority settings and development of UHC EPHS, including the required partnerships and a roadmap for financial sustainability.

An initial meeting was held on August 4, 2021 in Geneva to develop a Concept Note and agree on the objectives of the initiative. This was followed by a major meeting in September 27-28 in Geneva, Switzerland, which brought together over 60 experts from different countries and institutions. The meeting aimed to present the experiences and lessons learned of selected countries in priority setting and UHC EPHS design and implementation, and agree on the outlines of topics reviewed in each area.

The first day of the meeting covered country case studies representing the experience in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and Zanzibar. Each presenter addressed the health system context, pre-requisites for developing or revising national EPHS, institutional arrangements and processes, methodologies used, challenges encountered, and lessons learned. A panel discussion was also organized on strengthening technical support to LMICs in priority setting and development of UHC EPHS and reinforcing partnerships.

Presentations were also made on the outlines of each of the seven areas selected for review:

Area 1. Setting UHC health benefit packages: prerequisites, principles, and criteria
Area 2. Evidence-based processes for prioritization and decision making
Area 3. Methodological approaches and tools for estimating costs and budget impact 
Area 4. Fiscal space analysis
Area 5. From package development to implementation: institutional models of service delivery
Area 6. Engaging the private sector and public-private partnerships
Area 7. Monitoring & Evaluation

Participants expressed their views regarding the proposed outlines of each of the review area. The valuable insight and recommendations made during this meeting will be used in guiding the development of the final guidance materials. 

Participants at the September DCP3 Review Meeting, Geneva