Thinking and Working Politically on Health Systems Resilience: Learning from the experience of Cameroon, Nepal and South Africa during COVID-19 - Williams (2022)
Recognising the importance of the political economy dimensions of health systems resilience, the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (TWP CoP) organised an online discussion on this topic on 17 February 2022. This included a set of panel presentations highlighting the experiences of three countries – Cameroon, Nepal, and South Africa. These were selected because they illustrated different responses to COVID- 19, making it useful to compare them to identify critical political economy factors that support or undermine resilience. This note summarises the main points arising from the discussion and highlights important policy issues and recommendations. These include: (1) use the present political moment to draw attention to the importance of health systems resilience; (2) support political and societal leaders to build trust and credibility; be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of international assistance; (3) strengthen preparedness, planning and response mechanisms and ensure that these are used during crisis; (4) empower local-level decision making in health systems management, while ensuring strong central coordination; (5) address specific weaknesses in public financial management and procurement processes that held back the pandemic response; (6) support health systems to learn and adapt, and; (7) support further international research on health systems resilience.