Managing Performance Improvement of Decentralized Health Services
It is crucial for local governments to manage basic health services effectively in countries undergoing decentralization, as district or municipal health administrations become more responsible for managing services and mobilizing resources. Experience in many countries shows that it is possible to improve services rapidly while strengthening the capabilities of health teams. Health teams become more skilled in collecting and analyzing data and in solving problems and more self-reliant in fulfilling their responsibilities for protecting the health of the populations they serve.
This issue introduces a highly participatory approach to developing district managers’ skills and improving performance. This learning-by-doing approach to improving the management and performance of health services has proven effective at the local level in the context of health system reform and decentralization.
This issue of The Manager will help managers at all levels understand the principles of local-level performance assessment and improvement. It also presents the concept of essential public health functions as a useful policy framework for decentralizing service management while maintaining and improving the coverage and quality of services.