Inter-sectoral co-financing: Financing across sectors for universal health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa

UNDP-STRIVE_co-financing brief.pdf

This brief describes the lessons learnt from the piloting of an innovative approach developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and STRIVE to support efficient resource allocation for integrated planning and budgeting for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as contribution towards universal health coverage (UHC).

This inter-sectoral co-financing approach (referred to as ‘co-financing’), enables public entities to budget for interventions that have benefits across multiple sectors and SDG targets simultaneously. The approach requires the costs of high-value interventions to be split among ‘benefitting sectors’, based on each sector’s estimation of the opportunity cost and their ability to manoeuver funds to pay for expected results. This allows for the adequate financing of those high-value, cross-cutting initiatives that often appear too costly for a single payer (e.g. a ministry of education or health) to fund individually at scale, thus achieving far greater progress towards the SDG targets.

The report identifies challenges, issues and lessons for co-financing organised around four key themes: 

  • Political buy-in for co-financing
  • Selection of a sustainable co-financing project
  • Coordination and governance structures
  • Public budgeting and financing challenges

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