By: Jay Gribble

Photo: © Arne Hoel/The World Bank

Over the past few months, my colleagues and I have been thinking a lot about multisectoral actions and policies. The title of this series — a Multisectoral Endeavor Called Health — has made me reflect on the ideas behind the blogs in this series. Our goal was to elevate a dialogue on the lasting impact of multisectoral policy actions. The topics addressed reinforce the need to do the hard work on integration and working across sectors, geographies, and levels for lasting impact.

Multisectoral endeavors aren’t just a set of random efforts. Rather, they are designed to focus…

By: Jay Gribble and Katy Vickland

Photo: Amaru Photography/HP+

Multisectoral actions are designed to bring together multiple stakeholders and sectors to collaborate on advancing complex policy solutions. One complex challenge that all countries face is empowering young people as they transition from adolescence to adulthood — engaging with them to build supportive and empowering institutions, experiences, relationships, skills, and assets so they can undertake the roles, responsibilities, and obligations that come with that transition. When thinking about the sectoral engagement, coordination, and resources needed to advance integrated youth development, we can’t just wing it; decades of research on this topic have resulted in…

By: Alyson Lipsky

Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Multisectoral actions for health, those that non-health actors undertake sometimes in collaboration with health actors, are required to sustainably address many health priorities. But once a multisectoral action is identified, what can decisionmakers do to help it succeed? What kinds of platforms, incentives, and capacities does a country need to implement such actions? Any multisectoral action requires high levels of coordination among diverse stakeholders that all have different mandates, interests, and ideas. These requirements pose challenges for accountability as roles and responsibilities can get muddled, tensions between stakeholders can bubble up and impede progress, and competing priorities…

By: Jay Gribble

Photo: © Dominic Sansoni / World Bank

As a kid, after celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I asked my mom about kid’s day, to which she responded, every day is kid’s day. When I went looking for a global day of health equity and didn’t find one, I thought similarly. Every day should be health equity day! The Health Policy Plus (HP+) project is dedicated to advancing policies that improve access, quality, financing, and governance that allow health equity to become a reality. Yet health equity remains elusive, with definitions that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to measure. If we…

By: Steven Forsythe and Suneeta Sharma

Photo credit: World Bank/Sambrian Mbaabu

“What appears likely is that the economic impact of COVID-19 will last much longer than the virus itself.”

Historically, pandemics have economic impacts that last far longer than the virus itself. One hundred years after the Bubonic Plague of 1348–1350, for example, Europe’s population was still smaller than it was before the plague. This devastating impact had significant economic consequences for those who survived, creating labor shortages, higher wages, and the rise of Europe’s middle class. The flu pandemic of 1918 infected 30 percent of the world’s population, killing between 3 percent and 6…

By: Sachi Jain, Daniel Cotlear, and Sayaka Koseki

Photo credit: A. Stanescue


The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) drive toward self-reliance highlights the need for multisectoral actions to increase domestic investment in health service delivery from both the public and private sectors. It’s time the gatekeepers of health systems — donors and governments — carve a more substantial role for the private sector and create a more mature and inclusive healthcare market that delivers for its clients. Most multisectoral actions aimed at achieving health goals focus on reaching outside of health expertise to work with other public sectors. …

By: Frances Ilika

Nigeria has been able to harness multisectoral actions and is making progress on its universal health coverage efforts.

The countries of the world have set a goal of having universal health coverage for all by 2030. This goal is a tall order for the wealthiest of countries and a dream for many lower and lower-middle income countries. Nigeria, for example, has a health system that is poorly funded because many don’t consider universal health coverage a politically useful investment.

To make progress toward the goal, Nigeria and all countries need to employ mechanisms that work for their contexts while applying best practices. Multisectoral actions have served Nigeria well in removing obstacles to universal health coverage…

By: Dara Carr, HP+

This blog was originally published by New Security Beat.

Photo credit: HP+

The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of multisectoral action to contain and mitigate the effects of the virus. Presently, during crisis conditions or “war time,” in the language of outbreak experts, multisectoral efforts — including actions traversing health, education, labor, finance and other sectors — are readily apparent. But when policymakers perceive crises have passed, during so-called “peacetime,” governance structures that enable multisectoral collaboration tend to diminish or languish.

While countries continue their COVID-19 pandemic “war time” efforts, it is critical to highlight the importance and benefits…

By: Joni Waldron and Jay Gribble

Photo: © AgDiv

Malnutrition is a complex problem with negative consequences for millions of mothers and children. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 24 percent of pregnant women experience malnutrition, contributing to a range of poor pregnancy outcomes, as shown by one meta-analysis. Globally, 21% of children under the age of 5 experience stunting (low height-for-age) and 7% experience wasting (low weight-for-height). Childhood malnutrition is a leading contributor to childhood illness and death. …

Members of one of Kenya’s county health management teams participates in a program-based budgeting training. Photo by HP+

Sarah Esinven — the director of planning, monitoring, and evaluation in Kenya’s Turkana County — remembers what it was like in 2013, when federal agencies began devolving authority to county governments. Most were unprepared. “I had 22 different budget categories… and we didn’t know how to cost or estimate,” she recalled. “We would just allocate two million here and three million there, without really knowing.”

That year, Kenya’s federal government mandated that counties begin using program-based budgeting (PBB) — a method of budgeting that links budgets to health outcomes, directing resources to the most impactful programs. When communities have sufficient…

Health Policy Plus

USAID-funded project strengthening and advancing health policy priorities in family planning/reproductive health, HIV, and maternal health

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