Technical Assistance can be for:

  • capacity building (such as strengthening health information systems)
  • filling gaps (such as sending doctors to address a shortage)
  • delivering specific technical inputs (such as actuarial skills for designing health insurance)
  • project management. 

TA can support government and non-government organizations. It can include long and short-term support, intermittent or as-needed inputs, and peer-to-peer links and networks for sharing experience. TA can come from within the country or externally and may involve South-South cooperation.  

IHP+ studies in 2014 showed that there remain challenges in making sure TA is well coordinated and effective. The report Demand and supply of technical assistance and lessons for the health sector presents issues and challenge from four rapid country reviews.

Ways forward require joint working between Governments and partners to ensure ownership, avoid duplication and coordinate support. The process could start with a self-critical look at how well existing coordination arrangements work.

In line with effective development cooperation principles, TA should be:

  • strategically planned to support health priorities and address critical barriers to achieving results
  • well-coordinated and efficiently provided, to ensure value for money and avoid duplication
  • designed to establish sustainable systems and staff capacities that continue after the TA.

A short brief called How to improve Technical Assistance gives suggestions for governments, development partners and other agencies to improve TA.