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World Bank Support to Health Services:
Achievements and Challenges

World Bank Support to Health Services

Half of the world's population has no access to essential health services, and there is a tremendous gap between high and low-income countries in terms of physicians per capita and health expenditure.

Reaffirming its commitment to “invest in people", the World Bank Group has adopted health-related goals at the global and country levels, and is actively participating in the international call for universal health coverage as articulated by Sustainable Development Goal 3.

IEG held a discussion about how the Word Bank Group can best support countries in moving towards universal health coverage in partnership with other actors, including the private sector, and in the context of the Human Capital Project.

The event will highlighted findings from IEG’s recent evaluation World Bank Support to Health Services: Achievements and Challenges.

Read IEG's blog posts:

Watch the re-play of the live event

View the Presentation


Auguste Kouamé
Human Development and Economic Management Department
Independent Evaluation Group
World Bank Group


Annette Dixon
Vice President
Human Development
World Bank Group

Findings and main messages from IEG's Health Services Evaluation

Maria Elena Pinglo
Evaluation Officer
Independent Evaluation Group





Tim Evans
Senior Director
Health, Nutrition & Population
World Bank Group

Dr. James Fitzgerald
Health Systems and Services
Pan American Health Organization

Chris McCahan
Chief Investment Officer
International Finance Corporation

Susan Ulbaek
Executive Director
Nordic and Baltic countries
World Bank Group

Masanori Yoshida
Japan Executive Director
World Bank Group


Brenda Barbour
Knowledge and Communications
Independent Evaluation Group


Submitted by Dr Dexter James on Thu, 02/28/2019 - 11:24


Many of the Small Island States are struggling to meet the demands for and cost of health services. Inevitably, the solution lies around new models of financing and improvements to operations that address waste and inefficiencies e.g. the need for new performance management systems, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and the re-engineering of material management systems, to name a few.
We have healthcare establishments that are irrelevant to the skills and competencies required to support the disease profile. In addition, the need to embrace new health technologies including the Health Information Systems (inclusive of the Electronic Medical Records and other ICT modalities such as telemedicine solutions are prohibitively capital intensive and outside the financial reach of most countries, but a necessary imperative if we are to address the seamless movement of patients across the healthcare continuum.
Can the Bank shed some light on whether it is considering or has considered a new set of financing priorities and instruments, perhaps in collaboration with PAHO/WHO and other development agencies, that addresses the above key challenges in support of the attainment of Universal Health Coverage and the implementation of a new wave of health sector reforms?

Submitted by Aboubacrine Ahmed on Thu, 02/28/2019 - 13:18


Coordinating the health partners' support, timeliness and effectiveness has been always a challenge. On the partnership side, what is the key lesson learnt from the recent WBG support to global pandemic such as the Ebola crisis in Africa?

Submitted by Rohini Pande on Thu, 02/28/2019 - 13:30


The IEG preasentation suggests that the approach to universal health coverage is more supply side, with much less focus on demand side efforts. But we know from decades of research that even when services are available, demand factors arising from cultural, social or other aspects of people’s lives can prevent the most disadvantaged groups from actually using available services; young and adolescent women and girls, and indigenous populations are two examples. What efforts are planned to address demand side barriers so that universal coverage or access translates into universal use of services?

Submitted by Sylvie Noella on Fri, 03/01/2019 - 02:00


There are people who work as Temporary at the Bank for more than a year. And these people are not given health insurance in their contract. I believe it's NOT safe to the Bank nor to the person. Have you considered offering them a better health related option? I would recommend some measures to be put in place at least for the emergency cases.

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