Assessing the contribution of RESYST research on changes in health systems policy: case study on policy guidelines for implementing the Basic Health Care Provision Fund in Nigeria
About the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund
Nigeria's 2014 National Health Act (NHAct) will be a major step in the country's path to Universal Health Coverage when it is implemented, as the NHAct guarantees every Nigerian access to a 'Basic Minimum Package of Health Services'. A key part of the NHAct is the establishment of a Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) through which the provision of BMPHS will be financed through an annual statutory grant of not less than 1% od the Consolidated Revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The BHCPF aims to substantially increase the level of financial resources to primary health care services and provide access to essential medicines for all Nigerians.
About the research
In anticipation of the passage and signing of the National Health Act, researchers from the Health Policy Research Group in Nigeria carried out a project as part of the RESYST governance research theme that explored the governance and accountability readiness of the Nigerian health system for implementation of the BHCPF.
The research took place in the first quarter of 2014 before the NHAct was signed into law, and was formulated in response to requests from staff at the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA - one of the bodies responsible for disbursing the Fund) to support the development of a framework to strengthen transparency and accountability in the use of the Fund. Hence, one of the objectives of the research project was to generate implementation guidelines for the BHCPF, and to contribute to the development of strategies aimed at strengthening health system accountability in Nigeria.
A key outcome of the research was an accountability framework for the implementation of the BHCPF, which outlined specific strategies to strengthen accountability at different levels of government including:
- mechanisms for strategic planning
- strong and transparent monitoring and supervision systems
- systematic reporting
The research project was chosen as a case study because:
- the research originated from a demand from policy implementers and has a stated aim to contribute to the generation of policy guidelines
- there were already established pathways of influence through researchers' membership on policy committees.