Creation of a working group on corruption in African health systems

Following the interview of Hyacinthe Kankeu Tchewonpi, many experts of our CoPs have expressed their interest in issues related to corruption in health services in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa. We have decided to create a working group to continue the reflexion on this topic. 

A blog by Julie Alienda-Demoutiez & Hyacinthe Kankeu Tchewonpi


Corruption in the health sector is a multifaceted phenomenon and its causes can be identified at several levels. It remains poorly documented in African countries, as the existing literature mainly covers countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Afrobarometer surveys highlight a high variability in the extent of the problem between countries, reflecting not only the strong correlation with the general climate of corruption in each country, but also the structural link with the socio-cultural context. The importance of culture is precisely one of the aspects that most attracted the attention of experts from the CoPs in the discussions that followed the interview of Hyacinthe (see the synthesis –in French). This also echoes the need – expressed in many comments – for multidisciplinary studies to better understand this phenomenon and propose effective solutions to tackle it.  In this perspective, we have found it useful to set up a working group.

Our objectives

The main objective of the working group is to identify how CoPs can contribute to the production of a learning agenda and the development of possible actions that can be undertaken to address the issues related to informal payments and corruption in the health sector. This includes, among others, to carry out a collective reflexion on various aspects of this problem, to contribute to its documentation using simple and participatory methods, to produce actionable recommendations, and to disseminate the knowledge developed by the group.

The synthesis of the discussions following the interview already provides several elements that can serve as starting points for the reflections. This mainly includes the distinction between corrupt acts and gifts to express gratitude, the links with PBF/RBF and the quality of care, the need to analyse this problem in the light of Universal Health Coverage, the specific corrupt practices that exist in some countries, the issue of drugs/medicines and other medical supplies, as well as patient information inside and outside health facilities (e.g. displaying official tariffs of services, sensitisation, health promotion, involvement of community leaders). Other themes of reflexion may be proposed by the members of the working group and we will decide together on a scheduling of tasks.

The team
This project will be coordinated by Juliette and Hyacinthe. It will be implemented by a dozen members of the “Financial Access to Health Services“ and “Performance-Based Financing” CoPs.
It is open to all experts registered on Collectivity. Candidates having experience in studying or taking actions to fight against corruption (in all its forms) are particularly sought. Interested? Apply  here! The deadline for applications is March 9, 2017.

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