Strengthening health systems – Health coverage for all

Children under five and women living in remote regions benefit from better access to medical treatment thanks to Switzerland's efforts in the realm of family medicine. © SDC

Good governance and the efficient management of resources are key factors in a well-functioning health sector. The SDC promotes the strengthening of health care systems in developing and transition countries. Switzerland strives to promote universal health coverage through its activities both to establish social protection mechanisms and to advocate for access to quality health care for the most vulnerable. 

SDC focus

Financing health

The SDC's support for health sector reforms in its partner countries is based on a thorough analysis of the prevailing political, economic and social contexts. Its aim: to guarantee access to quality health services for the poorest.

A combination of research and action enables the SDC to encourage the development of innovative financing and payment mechanisms for health services. Its interventions are always aligned with national policies and priorities, and implemented in direct cooperation with its governmental, non-governmental and private partners in the health sector. This approach seeks to develop a form of social protection capable of preventing the most vulnerable members of society from plunging into poverty as a result of their expenditure on health-related problems. SDC projects focus on the public sector and providing support to public-private partnerships. 

Governance and participation

The SDC promotes efforts to establish better governance in the health sector and supports both governmental and non-governmental actors in this objective as they strive to develop a culture of accountability, wage war on corruption and achieve transparency in the allocation and utilisation of resources.

At the community level, the SDC supports health promotion initiatives which involve marginalised and disadvantaged population groups. All users are encouraged to participate in the management and follow-up of health services as this helps reduce access barriers to care and leads to better health outcomes. This process of social empowerment enables users to know and assert their rights, and allows health care professionals to better respond to the needs of the population by offering quality care.

Determinants of health

The health of individuals and communities depends on a multitude of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors. SDC projects give priority to cooperation and coordination between different sectors (water, agriculture, education, etc.) in order to influence the various factors that constitute "determinants of health". Its activities also aim to encourage behavioural change and ensure that the poorest of the poor can exercise their right to health.

The SDC cooperates with other federal departments and offices such as the Human Security Division (HSD) and the FDFA's Sectoral Foreign Policies Division, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Context

Faced with growing populations in the low-income countries and the ageing of the global population, establishing efficient and equitable health systems is a priority. However, health care systems in a large number of countries suffer from a lack of investment and poor management of the available resources, with services relying too heavily on external funding. As a result, infrastructure, technologies and equipment are lacking, and there is an acute shortage of qualified health workers. Furthermore, the absence of social protection mechanisms forces patients to cover a large part of the costs themselves, thereby exacerbating the inequalities in access to care. At the end of the day, the economic consequences of a poor health care system are hindering development in the countries concerned.

In its position on health for the post-2015 agenda, Switzerland aspires to maximise health for all in all life stages. The long-term objective is to achieve universal health coverage and take coordinated action on the social, economic, cultural and environmental determinants of health. After all, the conditions in which people are born, raised and work have an impact on their state of health. Adopting an approach to health that involves other sectors such as water, sanitation, education and food security is therefore absolutely essential to overcoming inequalities.

Documents

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, complete study (PDF, 102 Pages, 934.0 kB, English)

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, summary (PDF, 6 Pages, 3.3 MB, English)

Qualitative research on foreign health personnel in Switzerland and their recruitment (PDF, 635.5 kB, German)

WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: the Contribution of Switzerland (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle- Income Countries Health Brief (PDF, 4 Pages, 274.3 kB, English)

Health despite poverty: a SDC-Sponsored project changes people's perspective Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, 4 Pages, 898.0 kB)


Healthcare for remote regions: an SDC project in Kyrgyzstan sets the standard Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, 4 Pages, 809.4 kB)

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PDF, 1 Page, 54.7 kB, German)


Lessons learned from evaluations on community participation and civil society involvement in health (PDF, 291.8 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 877 – 888 of 1025

Technical Assistance Fund Croatia (TAFA)

01.06.2016 - 10.12.2024

The Technical Assistance Fund is meant to financing costs incurred by the administration of the partner country in its management of the programme, in particular for the costs of compaigns, operation of Annual Meetings, external evaluations of projects, experts and consultants, and external audits.


Citizen Engagement for Good Governance, Accountability and the Rule of Law (CEGGA)

01.06.2016 - 31.10.2022

In Lao PDR, the space for citizens’ involvement in public affairs is a challenge, as the overall environment for the civil society is strongly controlled and not conducive. While the National Assembly (NA) is assuming a more assertive oversight and representative role, it still faces many constraints to function as an effective representative body. The new CEGGA Programme will provide more opportunities for Lao CSOs to engage in the country development processes, and to collaborate with the NA in bringing local experience, lessons learned and citizen’s voice to the NA. It will also strengthen the NA’s autonomous role, contributing to a greater formal division of power, and to engage more systematically with non-state actors as part of its deliberations on draft legislation.


Bangladesh Agricultural and Disaster Insurance Programme (BADIP)

15.05.2016 - 31.12.2022

Smallholder farmers in Bangladesh face considerable risks. Droughts, floods, winds, temperature shocks, pests and diseases can destroy their livelihoods and leave them indebted for years. To cope with such shocks, they are often forced to sell productive assets and fall back in poverty. By developing the market for agricultural insurance and related extension services, BADIP will sustainably increase poor farmers’ resilience, giving them the confidence and security to step up their productive investments.  



Joint Peace Fund (JPF)

01.04.2016 - 31.12.2022

The Joint Peace Fund (JPF) is a multi-donor fund for joint action in, on and around the peace process, bringing together conflict parties (GoM and armed groups), civil society organizations and international donors. The JPF is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and a Technical Secretariat from the Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS). As there is no peace without development and no development without peace, this fund is crucial for a concerted action of all stakeholders.


Prospects for young, unemployed adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.04.2016 - 31.05.2022

The aim of the Youth Employment Project (YEP) is to help public employment bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve their offer and to introduce youth-friendly services, such as individual and group careers advice for unemployed young adults between 18 and 30 years. Together with local partners, YEP also promotes new job opportunities linked to social entrepreneurship models.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Employment & economic development

Employment creation
Business support & economic inclusion

01.04.2016 - 31.05.2022


CHF  5’795’000



Swiss Bluetec Bridge: Swiss start-ups benefit disadvantaged populations

11.02.2016 - 31.05.2024

In addition to the sustainable management of resources and good governance, water-related challenges open up a wide field for technological innovation, particularly in the application of nanotechnologies for water treatment, especially ones which are energy-efficient. The challenge for Swiss Bluetec Bridge is to put these cutting-edge 'Swiss' technologies at the service of the poor and ensure that they are sustainably managed. To do this the project must seek to bridge the gap between public support for start-ups and private investment.


Programme de développement social en milieu urbain (PDSU)Programme de développement économique local et de sécurité alimentaire à Koutiala

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2022

Le Programme Sigida Kura a permis d’améliorer les capacités de planification et de gestion des 37  collectivités territoriales du cercle de Koutiala qui ont réalisé des infrastructures permettant d’améliorer  la sécurité alimentaire dans le cercle, d’augmenter les revenus des producteurs et de créer plus de 230 emplois permanents. Avec cette dernière phase, la DDC poursuit son accompagnement aux collectivités territoriales qui mettent en place un cadre durable de leur développement économique local.


PREST 5, Pistes rurales et désenclavement à l’Est

01.01.2016 - 30.06.2022

Les routes constituent un soutien à la croissance économique par la mobilité des personnes et des marchandises. Au Burkina Faso, elles demeurent en deçà des besoins et des référentiels de l’espace UEMOA. Partant de ce constat et sur l’expérience de la DDC, le gouvernement a souhaité que la Suisse finance conjointement un projet d’infrastructures et de mobilité avec la Banque Mondiale avec la méthode haute intensité de main d’œuvre (HIMO). Un inventaire des initiatives basées sur la méthode HIMO dans les 13 régions a été lancé en vue d’élaborer une politique nationale HIMO. La DDC s’engage à contribuer à ce projet et valorise la méthode HIMO à l’échelle nationale.


Contribution to Rural Housing Reconstruction Project (RHRP)

01.01.2016 - 31.07.2023

Rural households affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015, especially from disadvantaged groups, will rebuild earthquake resistant houses through the RHRP, the Government’s lead project for housing reconstruction. With a total contribution of 7 million CHF, the Swiss support through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, will enable an additional 3’500 rural households to rebuild. The contribution will be complemented by technical assistance through secondments and experts provided also by SDC/HA.


Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative of World Bank Group and UN Office on Drugs and Crime

16.12.2015 - 30.06.2022

Asset recovery is an important priority on the global agenda. Demand for expertise on asset recovery remains high around the world. Asset recovery is a priority for SDC, the Message 2014-2017 and Switzerland as a financial center with its pioneering role in general. This contribution will support the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). StAR is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds.


Contribution to Rural Housing Reconstruction Project (RHRP)

15.12.2015 - 31.07.2023

Rural households affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015, especially from disadvantaged groups, will rebuild earthquake resistant houses through the RHRP, the Government’s lead project for housing reconstruction. The Swiss support through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, will enable an additional 2’250 rural households to rebuild. The contribution will be complemented by technical assistance secondments provided by SDC humanitarian aid.

Object 877 – 888 of 1025