South Sudan’s Health Sector Development Plan aims to increase the quality of health services (with an emphasis on maternal and child health), empower communities to take charge of their health, and strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the health system. Since 2012, over three phases, the large South Sudan Health Pooled Fund (HPF) has helped achieve these goals, via a consortium of Fund management partners, including Montrose and through engagement of implementing partners. HPF provides hundreds of thousands of citizens, especially women and children, with quality healthcare, delivering services across 80% of South Sudan.
Phase 1 of the HPF focused on basic implementation of the country’s Health Sector Development Plan in 29 counties, adding a scale-up to family planning activities and providing long-term technical assistance. Tropical Health developed the programme M&E and implementing partners reporting tools and provided ongoing technical support to the HPF’s M&E team. This included a systematic review of HPF implementing partners’ performance to inform decision on continuation of funding into the subsequent phase.
In Phase 2, HPF expanded its scope to include more focus on gender, equity and social inclusion and nutrition. Tropical Health updated the M&E strategy to reflect that and other changes. A scoping mission in-country was conducted to assess existing resources and discuss reporting needs with stakeholders in order to prepare a concept note regarding the potential development of a central database and dashboard tool. Similar ongoing technical support on M&E was extended throughout the phase.
HPF Phase 3 merged two programmes, i.e. HPF2 and the Integrated Community Case Management programme; it supports delivery of community level essential primary health care, secondary health care and referral health services, stabilisation of local health systems, and procurement and supply chain management of essential medical commodities. For this phase, Tropical Health was commissioned to review the M&E system including the plan, tools, reports and databases; and to work with the M&E team to make the relevant changes to prepare for HPF3 implementation, data collection and reporting. This included a feasibility assessment to use the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) to estimate the impact on coverage change on mortality in South Sudan.
Tropical Health’s professional technical assistance in developing strong M&E processes aimed to help the programme achieve its desired impact: an improved health and nutrition status for the population that saves lives and reduces morbidity (including maternal, infant and under-5 mortality). The programme aimed to have four principal outputs: enhanced delivery of integrated health services, expanded community health services for the prevention and treatment of common conditions, strengthened management of the supply chain for essential drugs and commodities, and stable health systems that are responsive and accountable to the needs of communities and individuals.