By creating a culture of ownership over health results, helping teams discover innovative solutions to problems, and increasing their capacity to use data for better decision-making, we support Ministries of Health to build and reinforce more effective health systems.
We collaborate with Ministries of Health and their local NGO partners to strengthen health systems. We prioritize government-identified health challenges and goals as our agenda. Working with local implementing partners, we leverage others’ efforts and investments. We provide ongoing mentorship and technical assistance, including supporting teams in quarterly convenings where they share data via dashboards, review progress, evaluate outcomes, and develop plans for ongoing improvement. Our partnership-based model prioritizes regions’ and countries’ greatest health challenges in a sustainable way and ensures changes are institutionalized over time.
Spark Health empowers health teams to use data for better decision-making. Programme participants track and share their results using health indicator “dashboards” – creating greater accountability, promoting shared learning, and building a sense of ownership. Our emphasis on outcomes leads rapidly to positive changes in the capacity of health teams to work together to achieve better results.
To ensure sustainability, we build on and work within African health systems, rather than create parallel or duplicative health solutions. Partnering with health teams in targeted areas – the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Central and Southern Regions in Malawi, and the Country of Lesotho – we strengthen accountability by encouraging participants to share changes in health indicators that they already track in order to assess progress. Our programme often involves a one-week didactic training that gives teams the skills they need to analyse data, work together more effectively, and resolve problems. They use these skills to focus on the real problems they face in their districts and to create action plans for immediate implementation. Back in their work settings, participants introduce their plans to key stakeholders, encouraging others to join the change process and then actively applying their new skills to maintain momentum and achieve lasting results.
Our programmes tap the power of teams to improve service delivery and build stronger health systems. We bring together Health Ministry managers and other key health personnel to catalyse positive changes and influence their peers. Customized sessions taught by UCT GSB faculty cover topics such as organisation planning, operations and supply chain management, data management, finance, social marketing, leadership and change management. By helping teams apply new skills to specific problems in their district or region and by engendering a sense of ownership over health outcomes, we inspire participants to act as change agents within their own health system for an HIV-free generation.
Building on the skills gained and cultural transformation that is ignited through training, we walk with and mentor health teams responsible for identifying and resolving barriers to service delivery in their districts. Our mentorship is not just for a day or a week, but continues over many weeks (anywhere from 50 to over 100 weeks) after a partnership has begun. Active mentorship occurs through regular mentorship calls, customized technical assistance provision, and during the quarterly convenings where teams share and discuss the results of their work. When gaps in knowledge or skills are evident, we find creative ways to provide additional training, access to expertise, peer support and group problem-solving.
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