International Health

Health Systems Strengthening

Mali When President Obama launched the Global Health Initiative, he underscored the critical link between health systems and health outcomes. “We will not be successful in our efforts to end deaths from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis unless we do more to improve the health systems around the world,” Obama said. 

Abt Associates works closely with our country partners to develop, implement, and evaluate lasting solutions that improve their health systems and increase their populations’ access to and use of priority health services.

In addition, our tools and approaches are easily adaptable. We strive to reach a higher level of planning – engaging decision-makers and ensuring the implementation they request is based on evidence – and working with public and private host-country organizations to develop their ability to carry on after we leave.

We provide comprehensive technical assistance that addresses all aspects of a country's health system, including health financing, health information systems and technologies, human resources for health, and governance and health policy. Recognizing the important link between country ownership and sustainability, we also contribute to the development of country leadership and institutions to improve core health system functions.

Abt Associates leads the Health Finance and Governance project, one of USAID’s global flagship projects for strengthening health systems as well as USAID’s Jordan Health Systems Strengthening II (HSS II). Previously, Abt led the Health Systems 20/20 project. We also implement numerous bilateral projects focused on strengthening country health systems.

Our work includes:
  • Advancing universal health coverage indicators; 
  • Supporting countries to mobilize domestic resources for health;
  • Strengthening health governance;
  • Supporting countries in both the supply and demand for good health governance;
  • Conducting costing and sustainability planning;
  • Developing and implementing financial risk protection mechanisms;
  • Institutionalizing National Health Accounts and resource tracking;
  • Measuring health system performance; and
  • Health workforce planning, development, and management.


SOUTH SUDAN: How do you improve the health system when a country is in conflict?

Abt Associates began working in South Sudan in 2012 to strengthen the country’s health system and foster an enabling environment for improved health service delivery. In spite of the current conflict, the project has had a positive impact, making health information more accessible and actionable. The project has supported county health departments to develop Health Information System (HIS) Monthly Bulletins which capture and present routine health data. Recently, Bulletins revealed faulty reporting on HIV/AIDS indicators, which demonstrated the need to improve data quality and provide more capacity building on HIV data collection tools, coupled with supervision and timely performance feedback. The HIS Bulletins have greatly enhanced health authorities’ ability to effectively prioritize and direct scarce health resources—even during a period of conflict.

CLIENT: USAID / PROJECT: South Sudan Health Systems Strengthening (HSSP)

Videos Show Abt’s Health Systems Impact Globally
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Abt’s Health Expenditure Tracking This snapshot document shows the 55 countries where Abt has supported health expenditure tracking and our technical areas.
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Infographic: Ethiopia’s Move toward Universal Health Coverage
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Questions about our work in international health? 

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