The Health Systems Planning & Governance Platform: thinking about health systems governance and how it can be used to improve population health
Is “health systems governance” becoming the new buzzword in global health? While an increasing number of academic papers are being published on this theme, each trying to lay down the theoretical and foundational elements of what health systems governance is and what it can possibly mean in practice, ideas such as “good governance” or “governance for UHC” are seemingly entrenching themselves and developing roots in the global health discourse.
But what exactly is governance? In the field of international development, the concept is not new. It has been with us since the late 1980s, when the World Bank first coined it in what they called the “crisis of governance” in many Sub-Saharan African countries. But as many critics would point out, governance is an elusive concept; it can be used to mean everything and nothing.