A Community of Practice (CoP) for results-based financing (RBF) was launched in February 2010 during a weeklong workshop on RBF in the central African nation of Burundi, as part of the Health Systems for Outcomes (HSO) initiative of the World Bank. One of five virtual CoPs hosted on the HSO website, the RBF community of practice aims to:

  • Cultivate expertise in countries, by identifying local RBF experts, expand their numbers and upgrade their skills;
  • Consolidate best practices and identify areas where there are knowledge gaps;
  • Organize interactions between researchers and policymakers and inject evidence into RBF policymaking; and
  • Connect practitioners and experts in developing countries instead of having donor agencies act as go-betweens.

The CoP was launched alongside a showcase of Burundi’s RBF scheme, which provides incentives to health facilities based on quantity and quality indicators and was launched nationwide in April. Burundi is the second country in Africa, after Rwanda, to design and implement a nationwide RBF program. Many other countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia, are implementing promising RBF programs as well.
RBF for health has come a long way over the last decade. What began with scattered successes, little rigorous evidence, and lots of skepticism, is now many diverse successes, a growing body of evidence, and a growing tide of support for the concept. This, coupled with a massive injection of cash (in September 2009, the U.K. and Norway announced they will contribute US$420 million to support results-based financing programs to improve maternal and child health) has resulted in an explosion of RBF programs—from Kyrgyzstan to Zambia.
The attention and resources are welcome, but they underscore the importance of learning and communication among practitioners. Says World Bank senior health specialist Gyuri Fritsche: “The fundamental purpose of the RBF workshop was to enable practitioners who work in far and destitute locations to engage with like-minded folks. [It] was a tremendous success and South-South collaboration got a great jolt.”

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Resource Information

Document Type: (PDF) Download
Author/s: Lindsay Morgan
Countries: Burundi
Date of Publication: July 2010

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