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Webinar Series: The Future of Health Systems

Today’s health systems must evolve to take on the intensifying challenges of a changing climate, growing inequities, and siloed funding. Abt is hosting a transformative discussion series to meet this moment, reflecting our decades of experience strengthening health systems with communities around the world. Join the conversation with global practitioners, local leaders, and health innovators shaping systems that will sustain health services into the future.


We have concluded our Future of Health Systems Webinar Series. The series has involved various experts and aimed to share pragmatic and innovative solutions to improve health systems globally. Please see below for recordings of each webinar.

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The Future of Health Systems: Advancing Health Systems Strengthening: Metrics, Learnings, and Future Directions     
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

This webinar marks the 8th and final session in the Future of Health Systems Webinar Series focused on health system strengthening. The series has involved various experts and aimed to share pragmatic and innovative solutions to improve health systems globally. This webinar highlighted how in today's evolving health systems landscape, effective monitoring, evaluation and learning strategies are indispensable for driving performance improvements in health systems and health outcomes. However, navigating through the complexities of health systems requires a nuanced approach, especially when it comes to standard indicators and global knowledge sharing as well as collation, management, and dissemination of learnings. This webinar served as a platform to delve into these challenges and present practical solutions including the critical need for standardized metrics, evidence generation, and continuous learning in health systems strengthening programming. The webinar spotlighted the role of effective primary healthcare metrics as a pathway towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. Panelists provided forward-looking perspectives on the future application of metrics and learning methods in health systems strengthening. Through insightful discussions and case studies, participants gained valuable insights into leveraging these metrics to drive towards equitable, sustainable, and resilient health systems improvements and achievement of health outcomes.

Watch the webinar recording to learn more!

Abt’s Kathryn Stillman, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Senior Director, led the discussion that included different perspectives from Rachel Marcus, Senior Health Systems Strengthening Advisor, Office of Health Systems, USAID; John Grove, Chief Evaluation & Learning Officer, The Global Fund; and Lisa Hirschhorn, Director, Ryan Family Center on Global Primary Care, Northwestern University.

The Future of Health Systems: How Digital Tools Enable Health As A Human Right    
April 10, 2024, 10-11 AM EDT

This seventh webinar in our Future of Health Systems Webinar Series highlighted the importance of digital innovations to support health as a human right. They explored how in today’s rapidly evolving health system landscape with unprecedented challenges, the effective integration and use of digital solutions offers a wealth of opportunities to overcome systemic obstacles, enhance efficiencies, improve health system outcomes, and enable everyone to exercise their right to health care. In honor of this year’s World Health Day theme - My health, my right - they explored innovative digital strategies, tools, and technologies that enable all to gain access to health services, education, and information. This includes ensuring the wellbeing of health workers, expanding access to quality essential health services, and increasing efficiency in the management of health systems. The speakers emphasized technology as an enabler of equity and innovation that can bridge accessibility gaps in healthcare services, education, and information, particularly in remote or underserved communities. They highlighted the importance of connectivity and how it is essential for the effectiveness of digital health technologies. They talked about the role of policy in digital health and how robust policy frameworks are necessary to support digital health initiatives. They talked about the value of digital tools, such as the global digital health monitor, which is a platform used to assess countries' digital health readiness and maturity, guide investments, and aid in the development of comprehensive health strategies. They also discussed the importance of patient-centered design to the success of digital health solutions, meeting the patient where they are and designing tools with their needs in mind.

Watch the webinar recording to learn more!

Abt's Miquel Sitjar, Digital Health Senior Technical Advisor, led the inspiring discussion that included different perspectives from Erica Layer, Digital Health Specialist, HealthEnabled; Emily Nicholson, Digital Health Specialist, UNICEF; and Morad Elmi, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Scene Health.

The Future of Health Systems: Investing in Primary Health Care Workers: A Call to Action             
February 29, 2023, 10-11 AM EST

Note: This webinar was delivered in both English and French

The sixth webinar in our Future of Health Systems Webinar Series explored how despite a surplus of unemployed health workers in several low- and middle-income countries, many countries struggle to employ enough health workers to serve the population. Abt Associates, and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, hosted the webinar to explore how governments can mobilize domestic resources to bridge funding gaps and hire more primary health care workers to meet global targets—and how international donors can support these critical efforts. Investing in Primary Health Care Workers: A Call to Action shed light on and discussed the coalition’s recent report, "The Case for Investing in Primary Health Care Workers." They discuss how the primary health care workforce is the backbone to achieving global health goals related to HIV, TB, malaria, maternal and child health, and beyond. Key shifts are highlighted in USAID health workforce investments, including strengthening country capacity to improve policy and working environment for the PHC workforce. And they note how donors, implementers, and advocates must work together to support and safeguard health workers, especially women health workers. They also talk about the new focus on health workforce data at the global and local level to ensure equity, understand employment trends, and inform institutional capacity improvements. Watch the video to listen to this and so much more!

Abt’s Kate Greene, Senior Associate, Abt Associates, led the interesting discussion that included different perspectives from experts including, Diana Frymus, Global Health Workforce Coordinator, USAID Bureau of Global Health; Assegid Samuel, Human Resources for health Development and Improvement Lead Executive Officer, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia; Prossy Muyingo, Community Health Worker, Living Goods; and Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, Chief of Party, USAID/LHSS Nigeria.


Le sixième webinaire de notre série de webinaires sur l'Avenir des Systèmes de Santé a exploré comment, malgré un surplus de travailleurs de la santé au chômage dans plusieurs pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire, de nombreux pays ont du mal à employer suffisamment de travailleurs de la santé pour servir la population. Abt Associates, et la Frontline Health Workers Coalition, ont organisé le webinaire pour explorer comment les gouvernements peuvent mobiliser des ressources nationales pour combler les déficits de financement et embaucher davantage de travailleurs des soins de santé primaires pour atteindre les objectifs mondiaux — et comment les bailleurs internationaux peuvent soutenir ces efforts essentiels. Investir dans les travailleurs des soins de santé primaires : un appel à l'action met en lumière et discute le récent rapport de la coalition, « La nécessité d’investir dans les personnels de soins de santé primaire ». Ils discutent comment le personnel des soins de santé primaires est le pilier pour réaliser les objectifs de santé mondiaux liés au VIH, à la tuberculose, au paludisme, à la santé maternelle et infantile, et au-delà. Des changements clés sont soulignés dans les investissements de l'USAID dans le personnel de santé, y compris le renforcer la capacité des pays à améliorer les politiques et l’environnement de travail du personnel des SSP. Et ils notent que les bailleurs, les responsables de la mise en œuvre et les défenseurs doivent travailler ensemble pour soutenir et protéger les travailleurs de la santé, en particulier les femmes qui travaillent dans le domaine de la santé. Ils parlent également de l'accent mis sur les données sur le personnel de santé aux niveaux mondial et local afin d'assurer l'équité, de comprendre les tendances de l'emploi et d'éclairer l'amélioration des capacités institutionnelles. Regardez la vidéo pour écouter et plus!

Kate Greene, Associée principale, Abt Associates, a mené la discussion intéressante qui comprenait différents points de vue d'experts, notamment Diana Frymus, Coordinatrice globale des ressources humaines de santé, Bureau de la santé globale de l’USAID; Assegid Samuel, Directeur exécutif du développement des ressources humaines de la santé, Ministère de la Santé, Éthiopie; Prossy Muyingo, Agent de santé communautaire, Living Goods; et Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, Chef de projet, USAID/LHSS Nigeria.

The Future of Health Systems: Achieving Equity by Embracing Inclusion             
January 17, 2024, 9-10 am EST

This fifth webinar in our Future of Health Systems Webinar Series explored equity as both an outcome and a process. In Global Health, inequities are often identified through differences in outcome-level health indicators based on wealth, geography, or other factors. Actions to address inequities focus on increasing access to services by expanding the physical location of those services; improving the quality of services such as available supplies and health workers; or providing financial protection against catastrophic health expenditures. We know from established frameworks that converting input-level change into outcome-level results happens through processes. Equity has not been traditionally addressed as a process that is critical to driving outcome-level reductions in inequities. By infusing equity into health systems strengthening processes, we can accelerate progress toward change. In this webinar, you will hear about equity in both process and outcomes – where everyone has a fair opportunity to attain their optimal health – achieved in part through inclusive practices. Panelists discuss the importance of understanding and addressing the underlying systems issues and root causes that impede equity. They highlight how addressing structural, organizational, and systemic factors is essential, and how the benefit of layering approaches influences systemic change rather than focusing solely on individual-level interventions. They discuss challenges and highlight the importance of engaging local partners, meeting local priorities, and ensuring that interventions are robust and focused on specific contexts. They talk about the need to engage a diverse range of people - ranging from funders to healthcare service providers to individuals living with disabilities to underrepresented voices - in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs in order to achieve equitable outcomes. And they discuss the need for effective mechanisms, financial resources, and a systems change approach to address health inequities, particularly in regions facing complex changes. Watch the webinar recording to hear about this and so much more.

Abt’s Jodi Anthony, Principal Associate, Population Health, Abt Global, introduced the topic and led the insightful discussion that included diverse perspectives shared by the experts, including Jodi Charles, Equity Team Leader, Office of Health Systems, USAID; Phyllis Heydt, Founder, The Missing Billion Initiative; and Miguel Pulido, Chief of Party, Local Health System Sustainability Project, Colombia.

The Future of Health Systems: Building Resilient Health Systems In a Changing World             
November 8, 2023, 10-11 am EST

This fourth webinar in our series explored health systems resilience and why it is essential for health systems to prepare, adapt, and respond to every day and extraordinary challenges and stressors – such as climate change, emerging infectious diseases, and conflict. The enlightening discussion with panelists focused on the fact that the ability to sustain the health of communities and effectively respond to these very challenges relies on the resilience of our health system structures, communities, and decision-makers to ensure quality essential and routine health services. Panelists highlighted emerging interventions and policies that they themselves have found to be effective in their work around the world and the importance of learning from crises, such as after a drought, the West Africa Ebola outbreak, or COVID-19 pandemic. Abt’s Amanda Quintana, Climate and Health Technical Lead, introduced the critical topic and moderated the discussion amongst experts including Maureen Bartee, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, US Department of State; Susannah Mayhew, Professor, Faculty of Public Health Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Krish Vallabhjee, Former Director of Strategy, Western Cape Department of Health, South Africa. Watch the recording.

The Future of Health Systems: How Quality Health Systems Enable Quality Care             
September 21, 2023, 10-11 am EST

This third webinar in our series explored the application of quality improvement in health systems, from point-of-care to broader health systems organizational functions —such as supervision, management, payment processes, regulatory frameworks, resource allocation, information flow, and more. Abt’s Midori de Habich, Technical Director of USAID-funded Local Health System Sustainability project moderated a discussion of panelists of experts including Dr. Margaret Kruk, Professor of Health Systems at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MD, MPH, FACP; M. Rashad Massoud, Visiting Faculty, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, MD, MPH, FACP; and Dr. Houleymata DiarraChief of Party, USAID Integrated Health Program, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Watch the recording.

The Future of Health Systems: Unpacking the Power of Localization             
Aug 3, 2023, 10 AM-11 AM EST

This second webinar in our series explored how to leverage the power of localization to build robust and inclusive health systems that cater to the needs of communities around the world. Abt’s Dr. Mariam Reda moderated a dynamic discussion with frontline experts in localizing health systems: Dr. Mai Hijazi of USAID’s Office of Health Systems, Global Health Bureau; Dr. Mercy Mwangangi of Amref Health Africa, and Dr. Kumanan Rasanathan of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. Watch the recording.

The Future of Health Systems: Primary Health Care as a Long-Term Investment             
Monday, June 5, 2023

Primary health care (PHC)—which can meet 90% of a person's health needs throughout their lifetime—has surged to the top of global and national agendas as the best way to achieve better health outcomes for all. Seizing this momentum and sustaining services requires stronger health systems that incentivize ongoing investments. For this first webinar in our new series, Abt’s Kelly Saldana convened leading PHC experts: Asaf Bitton of Ariadne Labs, Kimberly Green of PATH, and Shams Syed of the WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care. They explored how we can both tackle immediate primary care needs and invest in lasting systemic change through a whole-of-society approach. Watch the recording.

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