International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI): Mapping of priority-setting in health in 17 low and middle countries across Asia, Latin America, and Africa

Hernandez-Villafuerte, K., Li, R., Towse, A. and Chalkidou, K.

Occasional Paper
April 2015

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A new OHE occasional paper has just been published, written in collaboration with NICE International. The document aims to assess the characteristics of a sample of low and middle income countries (LMICs), in order to select a shortlist of countries in which an international Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) practical support project could have the maximum likelihood of success and possible impact. The practical support project would assist one country in building institutional and technical capacity in priority-setting for universal health coverage (UHC).
We identified a longlist of 17 LMICs: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. In order to assess priority-setting readiness, we developed qualitative and quantitative indicators covering: political will, current position along the UHC journey, institutional and technical capacity, health system financing characteristics, and potential economies of scale in priority-setting.
In shortlisting candidate countries for iDSI practical support, we excluded: (1) countries that have already established a dedicated, centralised priority-setting institution), (2) countries that have not articulated a political commitment to priority-setting for UHC, and (3) countries where iDSI partners may be limited in their ability to gain traction. 
We applied our exclusion criteria and identified a shortlist of four countries: Indonesia, Myanmar, South Africa and Ghana.
Following the completion of this paper and a scoping visit in July 2014, Indonesia was selected by iDSI as the partner country for an ongoing practical support project to support HTA development.