Chapter 2: Core content for understanding UHC and public budgets for health

Module 1: Key aspects of health and UHC 

Section A: Universal health coverage

A1: Defining UHC in the context of SDG3  (link)

A2: Relevance of UHC for disease or population specific interests (link)

A3: Importance of social determinants of health (link)

A4: Common goods for health: A foundation for UHC 

A5: Need for strong health systems with emphasis on primary health care (link)

A6: Role of public finance (link)

Section B: Right to health and international, regional and national commitments to UHC

A good opportunity to use local, country data, and to understand which instruments the country has ratified and how it has been made relevant for the local policy and legal frameworks.

B1: What is the right to health and how does it link with UHC? (link)

B2: Which are the key international agreements/declarations that mandate the right to health, and international mechanisms to hold government to account? (link)

B3: Domestic commitments to the right to health and UHC, including constitutional rights and laws, policies, plans and election pledges (link)

Activity: Agreements, declarations and domestic commitments

Module 2: Introduction to public financing for health relevant for budget advocacy for universal health coverage

Section A:  Introduction to public policy and its association with the budget in relation to UHC

The public budget is a reflection of a government’s public policy priorities. The first step in developing budget analysis and advocacy is to first understand what the key policy priorities are. 

A1. What is public policy in general terms? (link)

A2. What is the role of public resources in relation to public policy? (link)

A3. On what should health policies focus for countries to achieve UHC? (link) 

Tool WHO Global health expenditure report

Tool: The WHO health financing progress matrix

Tool: WHO Handbook for strategizing health in the 21st century for designing public policies for universal health coverage

Activity: Understanding key elements of health policy design for UHC 

 Activity. Exploring UHC budget information using the Global Health Expenditure Database(link)

Section B: Introduction to the public budget and its relevance for UHC 

B1. Political economy approach- a conceptual framework to introduce the politics of public budgeting (link)

B2. What is the public budget and why is it relevant? (link)

B3. The revenue side of the public expenditure for health  and what is relevant for UHC budget advocacy (link)

B4. Expenditures in the public budget and those relevant for UHC budget advocacy (link)

B5. Key budget classifications (link)

Tool WHO country mapping of health budget classifications

Activity: What budget classifications is my country using to organize health and UHC related expenditures? 

Section C: Introduction to the budget cycle and links with planning universal health coverage  

C1. What is the budget cycle and what are its key stages and actors? (link)

C2. Main stakeholders that intervene in the budget cycle (link)

C3. The budget cycle, its stages and stakeholders for UHC (link)

1 Activity: Building the budget cycle for your country

2 Activity: Identifying the role of the ministry of health in the budget cycle

Section D: Budget information: key budget documents relevant for budget advocacy and useful resources to locate UHC related budget information 

D1. The key budget documents and their content 

D2. Where to find budget documents 

D3. Budget information relevant for UHC and where to find it 


1. Finding and exploring budget documents in my country (link)

2. Finding budget documents in my country (link)

Section E: Transparency, access to information and citizen participation as key elements of budget advocacy and accountability 

E1. Why are transparency, access to information and citizen participation relevant in the context of UHC? (link)

E2. Key tools for understanding and measuring budget transparency around the world (link)

E3. Freedom of information around the world (link)

E4. Principles of public participation: intervening in the health budget cycle to achieve a UHC advocacy objective (link)

Activity: Learning about budget transparency oversight institutions and public participation in my country

Activity: Freedom of information  

Section F: Budget analysis as a key tool for budget advocacy for UHC 

In this section, you can engage with budget numbers and have the opportunity to do budget analysis using their country’s budget figures. (link)

F1. Why analyse the public budget? 

F2. Basic budget analysis: On what should budget activists focus to begin using the budget to monitor advances towards UHC? 

F3. Common problems in the use of public resources that can be identified by budget analysis

F4. Budget analysis relevant for UHC budget advocacy

Tool: Basic budget calculations to identify common problems in the use of public resources 

Tool The WHO health financing progress matrix

Tool: 20 key questions about your country budget, IBP Kenya

Activity: Adapting the 20 questions to UHC


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