In the past two years since SPARC’s launch, we have consolidated our niche entry point into countries – supporting the articulation of demands, identification of resources for implementation of reforms and alignment of stakeholders behind a common vision of strategic health purchasing – not as a scheme or program, but along functional lines (what to buy, who to buy from and how to pay). With this work, there has been an increase in demand for our services.
With increased country demand has come the need to deepen our bench of coaches and mentors and strengthen their knowledge and use of the coaching approach for country engagements. Therefore this year, we have started a new series at the monthly Force Community meetings that explores the use of the coaching approach at every step of the country engagement process. The first edition for the year focused on the typical first step, identifying the problem. If you missed this, read up on key messages and watch the entire session, down at the coaching corner – real gems in there!
Apart from connecting these regional experts to one another for peer to peer learning at the Force Community meetings, SPARC provides additional support to this community by increasing their global and regional visibility. To actualize this, SPARC and Results for Development just launched the global database – a repository of health systems strengthening experts from all over the world, that is publicly accessible and searchable online. Head on over to the coaching corner below to register and spread the news!
The month of February brought some good news to the continent. After months of listening to the experiences of countries in the global North as they received COVID-19 vaccines and started their vaccination programs, the vaccines landed in Africa and South Africa led the way. A few days ago, Ghana became the second African country to receive vaccines and the first one to access these from COVAX. Further deliveries to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire are expected shortly.
This is great news but we still have a ways to go. Two down – 52 to go. How and when will the other countries get the much-needed doses of the vaccine(s)? How are the countries, who have received some doses, prioritizing populations to get these and addressing the logistic challenges involved with storage and distribution? Do they have enough doses? We will unpack these and a lot more, in a new series of Twitter chats (SPARCchat) and also during the Force Community webinars from March. Watch out for more details.
On a final note, this month, aka the month of love, we celebrated our #LoveForSHP and shared thoughts and reasons why we all love strategic purchasing. Did you miss this campaign on our social media handles? Catch up real quick by clicking on any of these handles Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and head on over to our resource hubto feed your passion for #SHP!
I hope you had a good month!
Continue to stay safe and healthy.
Dr. Nkechi Olalere
Executive Director, SPARC