<p>Is decentralization good for improving the performance of a health system? This is a recurrent issue debated in many countries and made even more important as different levels of government try to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This course introduces new ways to think about decentralization and its design so that it improves the performance of a health system. Based on on-going research and consulting, the course addresses both policy and management issues related to designing, implementing and managing a decentralization transition. Course topics include: financial options, human resources implications, strategic planning, political feasibility, leadership and organizational change, quality management, and negotiation and conflict resolution. Experienced Harvard faculty members have developed comprehensive workshop to better equip policy makers and managers to meet the challenges of decentralization–now even more relevant in the age of COVID. In its new hybrid format, the first week will address the policy level process while the second week will focus on enhancing management skills in the context of decentralization.</p>
- Learn how to effectively assess the decentralization situation in your country/area;
- Examine the financing, education and labor market for effective decentralization strategies;
- Learn tools to develop policies (pay for performance, strategic planning, priority setting);
- Apply strategies to other system topics (quality, politics, etc.)
- Learn critical leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution strategies.
- Create own draft strategic plan to address decentralization challenges
The curriculum of the course includes the following:
- Health System Decentralization: Approaches and Policy Options
- Financing Options for Decentralized Systems
- Human Resources in Decentralized Health Systems
- Political Feasibility and Political Strategies Using “Policy Maker” software
- Strategic Management and Quality Management
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- Managing Organizational Change
- Application of COVID-19 Content
This interactive, course offers a blend of theory and practice, geared to an audience focused on policy design and implementation. Included throughout the course are lectures, Q&A time, group work, case studies, problem sets, and preparation of group and individual case presentations. Facilitated discussion among participants is expected throughout the course. Participants are encouraged to have on hand their own country material and resources on health systems related to the process of decentralization and management and use in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Should Participate
This eight-day (over two weeks) course is designed for individuals working in either the public or private sectors. This workshop has been designed for management and policy-makers in developing and transitional economies. Officials who are concerned about implementing greater managerial autonomy in previously rigid government bureaucracies will find the experience very useful.
About the Course Directors
Dr. Thomas J. Bossert is director of the International Health Systems Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health as well as a Senior Lecturer on Health Policy in the Department of Global Health and Population. He led the development of the Assessing Financing, Education, Management and Policy Context for Strategic Planning of Human Resources for Health for WHO and has taught courses on strategic planning in several countries for WHO and UNICEF. Additionally, he has directed technical assistance projects and applied research in Latin America, Asia, and Africa on decentralization, institutional transformation, and health policy
Dr. Diana Bowser has her primary academic appointment at Brandeis University as an associate professor and is the Course Director for Global Executive Courses within the International Health Systems Program. She has 19 years of experience in health system analysis related to health economics, health policy, and using econometric methods to evaluate health system changes in Latin America, Africa, and the United States. She has provided technical assistance and conducted research with funding from USAID, DFID, WHO, the Global Fund, Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IADB, NIH, and the World Bank. She has worked closely with the following governments on these policy issues: Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Ukraine, Kosovo, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.