Objective: The overall aim of the work is to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics between health sector reform policies and practices as well as the factors that determine and shape the thinking about global public health; and to try out a framework for understanding the inter-linkages and interactions between the determinants for and the elements of health sector reforms and their implementation.
Methods: The object of study was a contemporary phenomenon, consisting of a diverse array of interventions in many different directions and fields within a complex political, social and economic environment. It is difficult to attribute the effects of the reforms to any single intervention or to establish exact boundaries between the phenomenon and the context. Therefore, a multi-stage case study research strategy, based on the work of R.K.Yin, was chosen. The study involved two major sub-units of analysis, i.e., the macro and the micro level. Each of these involved several sub-units of analysis. The analysis of the micro level further comprised a cross-case analysis of 10 individual case studies conducted in six developing countries.
Results: Clear linkages were found between the greater societal processes and the shape and results of reforms during the decade. The reforms had not been completed in any of the countries studied, but appeared to be stuck with undesired effects, lacking energy to move forward. Contributing to this was the diminishing role of the state, which bordered abdication from public health in most of the countries, leaving the drive to the market and individual demands and interests. The net effect could well be a reversal of some of the public health achievements of the past - however, it was also found that reverting to dedicated disease control programmes would not be the answer, as these were found unsustainable and undermining the health systems.
Conclusion: There is a divide between libertarian and utilitarian values on the one side and communitarian and egalitarian values on the other. Thus, it is not just about public health practitioners not being good enough to implement, it is more so about what we want to achieve and what it acceptable respectively not acceptable and reaching compromises. This place the societal processes at centre-stage for public health. However, it is also about implementation, it is about how public health policy-makers and reformers can effectively dialogue and facilitate achieving consensus and translate the societal 'wants' and 'want nots' into managerial bites. Implementation becomes a process of constant adjustment and readjustment oscillating between political and technocratic levels
2005. , 110 p.
Health sector reform, values, implementation, developing countries, international public health
2015-06-01, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Göteborg, Sweden, 13:00 (Swedish)