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Rwanda. Credit: Avril Ogrodnick

Streamlining Health Sector Resource Tracking in Rwanda

Health Systems 20/20 is working with the Government of Rwanda to streamline and coordinate the government’s myriad health sector resource tracking requirements. While Rwanda is the first country to undertake such an ambitious challenge, its experience will be applicable widely. The integrated system is expected to:

  • Reduce the administrative and reporting burden on government and international donors
  • Save resources by minimizing duplication
  • Increase data quality, accessibility, and use in policy making and advocacy
  • Foster better planning, coordination, and health sector financial accountability

Existing health sector resource tracking systems are varied and serve multiple functions. Some are disease specific; others measure all health flows. Some estimate planned expenditure, while others measure actual spending. Countries and donors use the methodologies to plan and budget health services and programs, inform health policy and monitor its implementation and results, and coordinate donor efforts.

While each resource tracking tool serves a valuable function, collectively they consume appreciable time and money spent on reporting, collecting, and analyzing the data. Often data reporting and analysis are not coordinated with one another or the country’s planning and budgeting cycle.

Health Systems 20/20 and its predecessor projects have worked with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health on five National Health Accounts(NHA) expenditure estimations, and Rwanda has also done National AIDS Spending Assessments (NASA) and Public Expenditure Reviews (PER). Additional information requirements come from the Joint Annual Work Plan (JAWP), National AIDS Commission, Ministry of Finance, and other national and local agencies. To reduce this excess of requests and systems, Health Systems 20/20 is working with Rwandan institutions, NGOs, and donors to harmonize all health resource tracking systems. The new system will:

  • Have a web-based data entry and analysis platform in which all stakeholders will report their spending once
  • Use the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) categories for data collection for NHA, NASA, PER, JAWP, and other resource tracking requests
  • Integrate data validation and feedback into the tool, resulting in better data quality and analysis
  • Allow the user to present information in customizable maps and charts of health sector resource data that will better inform policy needs for a wide set of stakeholders

To ensure Rwanda’s sustained use of the system, Health Systems 20/20 is building capacity at the School of Public Health, offering a course on NHA data collection and analysis, and developing courses on resource tracking. It is also working with a local programmer to build capacity for maintaining and conducting the database platform.

The new resource tracking system was launched in August 2010, with the new round of health resource tracking and planning.

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