All low- and middle-income countries face a number of critical pressures on their health systems. Some of these are particularly salient for countries that are currently or will soon be ‘transitioning’ to much lower levels of external financial support.

A common guiding principle is to maintain or even increase effective coverage for priority health services, including those currently supported with external funds.  

This does however not mean simply channelling government revenues to pay for a previously donor-funded programme. Rather, transition provides an opportunity for countries to assess how governance, financing and service delivery are configured to ensure the sustainability of effective coverage for priority interventions.  

Hence, health system strengthening (HSS) is at the core of the response to transition if progress towards UHC is to be sustained.  It also emphasizes the importance of sustainability in the transition process, which should also extend to those countries that are not imminently facing declines in donor assistance.

The membership of the group brings together country representatives, WB/WHO health system and disease experts, bilateral partners, global health initiatives, GFF, OECD, BMGF, academia think tanks and civil society. Country interest and participation in the group has been strong, with 15 countries actively engaging in the group, either through direct participation or country consultation.

The working group held two face to face meetings in 2017 to define work areas and gather country input. For conclusions of these meetings please see the following links to working group reports meeting report and read the final report here. In 2017 the group completed a mapping of policies, definitions and ongoing work by working group members related to transition from aid. The group also commissioned a country consultation paper on sustainability and transition and developed a mapping of key indicators on UHC context and transition in MIC and LIC.

In 2018 the working group developed the UHC2030 statement on sustainability and transition from external funding. The statement was presented to the UHC2030 Steering Committee in June 2018 and launched following a wide consultation process. The statement will serve as a basis for advocacy, political influencing- informing transition related coordination processes both at national and global levels.  The statement includes ten recommendations/principles directed at governments of countries experiencing transition from external funding and the broad range of development partners working in these contexts.

For link to the launch of the statement see here: Launch of the Statement on sustainability and transition from external financing October 2018

In December 2018 a consultation meeting was convened to gather further perspectives from health programs on sustainability and transition from external funding. For conclusions of the meeting please see this report

Online meeting of the UHC2030 working group on sustainability, transition from aid, and health system strengthening on 9 July 2019
For conclusions of the meeting please see this report

Third face to face meeting on January 28th Bangkok Thailand 

For presentations and programme of the meeting please see this link: the programme and the presentations Transition and UHC, Thailand and program perspectives and the list of participants 

Terms of reference

Second face-to-face meeting on 3 November in Montreux, Switzerland. 

All presentations here

Read the final report here.

First face-to-face on 30-31 March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

All presentations here

Read the final report here

Meeting notes for the record

9 March 2018 and country consultation paper

1 June 2017

17 January 2017

Participant list

The working group is chaired by:

Midori Habich former Minister of Health Peru

Kara Hanson, Professor of Health System Economics London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

UHC2030 Core team Maria Skarphedinsdottir providing the secretariat



Mr Pungkas Bahjuri ALI; Director of Community Health and Nutrition; Ministry of National Planning for Development Indonesia

Ms Triin Habicht Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Health Estonia

Dr. Aquina Thulare Technical Specialist, Health Economics National Health Insurance Department of Health South Africa

Ms Regina Ombam Head, Strategy Development National Aids Control Council Kenya

Daniel Osei, Head of Budget, Ministry of Health Ghana

Others TBC

UHC2030 hosting organizations

Toomas Palu Advisor Global Coordination Health Nutrition and Population WB

Somil Nagpal Senior Health Adviser WB

Joe Kutzin Coordinator Health Financing WHO

Susan Sparkes Technical Officer Health Systems Governance and Financing WHO

Dr Anshu Banerjee Director Global Coordination WHO

Claudio Politi EPI program WHO

Nishikiori Nobuyuki  WHO Global TB program

Gilles Forte Coordinator Essential Medicines and Health Products WHO

Dr. Zubin Shroff Alliance for Health Policy and System Research WHO

Tom O’Connell Health System Governance and Finance WHO

Development partners

Matthias Reinicke Health Sector Adviser Europe Aid EC

Dan Peters Senior Program Officer Development Policy and Finance BMGF

Joanna Keatinge Health Advisor DFID

Katja Roll Senior Health Adviser GIZ

Dr Shin-ichiro Noda Center for Global Health and Medicine Japan

Arjun Vasan Senior Health Economist US Treasury

Michael Borowitz Head Strategic Investments and Partnerships GF

Mr Matthew Macgregor Portfolio Manager GF

Santiago Cornejo Senior Specialist Immunization Financing GAVI Alliance

Nertila Tavanxhi Technical Adviser UNAIDS

Tim Poletti Health Adviser Permanent Mission of Australia to UN

Ms. Ariane Lathuille Health Policy Officer Permanent mission of France to UN

Maria Eugenia Bonilla-Chacin Senior Economist Global Financing Facility

Piera Tortora Advisor on Development Finance OECD

Academia and Civil society

Sara Bennett, Professor John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Mr. Mohamed Gad, Technical Analyst Imperial College UK

Kalipso Chalkidou Director Global Health Policy Centre for Global Development (CDG)

Mr Michael Chaitkin, Senior Program Officer Results for Development

Oanh Khuất Thị Hải, Executive Director, Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives 

Craig Burgess, Senior Technical Advisor, JSI Research and Training Institute

For further information please contact: 

Maria Skarphedinsdottir, WHO and UHC2030 Core Team:

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