TitleGood governance and budget reform in Lesotho Public Hospitals: performance, root causes, and reality
AuthorsTaryn Vian and William J. Bicknell (posthumously)
PublicationHealth Policy and Planning. 2013 Jan; 1-12.
AbstractLesotho has been implementing financial management reforms, including performance-based budgeting (PBB) since 2005 in an effort to increase accountability, transparency and effectiveness in governance, yet little is known about how these efforts are affecting the health sector. Supported by several development partners and $24 million in external resources, the PBB reform is intended to strengthen government capacity to manage aid funds directly and to target assistance to pressing social priorities. This study designed and tested a methodology for measuring implementation progress for PBB reform in the hospital sector in Lesotho. We found that despite some efforts on the national level to promote and support reform implementation, staff at the hospital level were largely unaware of the purpose of the reform and had made almost no progress in transforming institutions and systems to fully realize reform goals. Problems can be traced to a complex reform design, inadequate personnel and capacity to implement, professional boundaries between financial and clinical personnel and weak leadership. The Lesotho reform experience suggests that less complex designs for budget reform, better adapted to the context and realities of health sectors in developing countries, may be needed to improve governance. It also highlights the importance of measuring reform implementation at the sectoral level.
Related ProjectsPromoting Good Governance in Health Systems through Capacity Strengthening