Yemen’s poor health outcomes were due in many ways to the performance of its health system. Decentralization had not been fully realized, the health workforce was wanting in quantity and quality, the country’s health information system was unreliable and health financing was unable to provide safety nets for the needy. Consequently, Yemen still lagged behind its neighbours with health figures and inequity was a big concern.
The main task of the Technical Assistance (TA) was to create a coordination mechanism that enabled the MoPHP to effectively steer its sectors and departments internally as well as lead the subnational governance levels and development partners. EPOS deployed a team of experts who were then posted at key functional units of the Ministry to support with its stewardship role. Additionally, the TA assisted directly in increasing the availability of information for decision making through an improved health management information system (HMIS) and the conduct of public expenditure tracking surveys (PETS).
The capacity development approach being implemented engaged the MoPHP at individual, organization and system levels. The intention was to build on the governance credentials of key people in the Ministry so they can in effect lead their sectors and departments in the performance of MoPHP core functions. This was seen as a way to shape the credential requirement of key posts in the Ministry that would make change of management more conscientious. At the organization level, EPOS maximized the opportunity provided by this project in bringing together the sectors and departments and making the Project Implementation and Coordination Committee as a forum to coordinate programs and discuss intra-Ministry collaboration. It was also made the forum to discuss performance of the MoPHP in core performance indicators. EPOS approach to system development was to formalize norms in practice because they tended to be more practical and were likely to be maintained.
EPOS built on the gains of previous projects and intended to sustain the momentum already created in the fields of governance and leadership, service provision and information generation. Interventions were organized around these themes bearing in mind that these built into health systems improvement. EPOS maximized the advantage created by posting the TA team alongside counterparts in the Ministry to implement individual and institutional capacity development interventions that altogether aimed for strengthening the Ministry to effectively provided stewardship of the health system.
With the view of inciting coordination by creating platforms where stakeholders could converge, the common goal of setting up a uniform system of monitoring and evaluation, supervision and reporting as well as HMIS and PETS framed EPOS’ individual and institutional capacity interventions. EPOS also supports the development of the 5-Year Health Development Plan and advance the implementation of the essential package of services.