Webinar: Introduction to Political Analysis for Health Reform (Featuring Dr. Michael Reich)


This webinar introduces basic ideas of political analysis and political strategies, using examples about the politics of moving toward universal health coverage, and is presented by Prof. Michael R. Reich, Takemi Research Professor of International Health Policy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Health system strengthening and the adoption of universal health coverage are both profoundly political processes. As stressed in the Flagship Approach to Health Reform, astute policy developers begin political analysis early in the policy cycle. They do not delay political analysis until after the policy has been developed. The technical work of policy development and the political work of feasibility assessment need to occur together. Political analysis and political strategies are required at each stage in the policy cycle. This introduction to political analysis focuses on conducting a stakeholder analysis and the development of political strategies, as necessary steps in managing the politics of moving toward universal coverage. Relevance to the Indian context will be discussed.


  • Introduce basic principles of applied political analysis.
  • Present approaches to the assessment of political feasibility of policy reform, with a focus on stakeholder analysis and the design of political strategies.
  • Introduce and demonstrate a method of applied political analysis.

Background Readings

  • M.R. Reich et al. (2016). “Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage: Lessons from 11 Country Studies.” Lancet 387:P811-16. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60002-2.
  • M.R. Reich and P.A. Campos. (2020). A Guide to Applied Political Analysis for Health Reform. Working Paper from the India Health Systems Project. Boston, MA: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • M.J. Roberts, W. Hsiao, P. Berman, and M.R. Reich. (2004). Chapter 4, “Political Analysis and Strategies,” in Getting Health Reform Right: A Guide to Improving Performance and Equity. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • P.A. Campos and M.R. Reich. (2019). “Political Analysis for Health Policy Implementation.” Health Systems & Reform 5(3):224-35. DOI: 10.1080/23288604.2019.1625251
  • M.R. Reich. (2002). “The Politics of Reforming Health Policies,” Promotion & Education 9(4):138-42. DOI: 10.1177/175797590200900401
  • Note: Policy Maker Software for Political Analysis can be downloaded for free from: www.polimap.com/  This Windows-based software provides a simple method for doing political analysis for health reform. The session will briefly discuss how it can be used in supporting a country’s move towards universal coverage.


  • Video recording is available here.
  • Participation was facilitated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation office in India.