Useful Resources

Free online course on Health Systems Strengthening
The University of Melbourne, The Nossal Institute for Global Health, UNICEF: FutureLearn.

The Nossal Institute, in collaboration with UNICEF and FutureLearn, has developed a free online course in health systems strengthening. This course aims to develop skills and confidence in policy makers, managers and clinicians working in health systems to analyse system problems and take decisive, evidence-based actions to strengthen their system. It covers health system structures, functions and components, and how they interact. How to use evidence, and analysis of inequity, to drive interventions to strengthen health systems. It also addresses strengthening health systems through action in areas such as health policy, financing, human resources, supply chain management, quality of care and private sector engagement and using complex systems thinking to address health system problems.

Profits Over People: Mining in Malawi
Human Rights Watch: Malawi, 2016

New mining activities are playing an increasing role in Malawi's economy. This video reports on the situation of families in Malawi affected by new mining activities , and the health problems of families living near coal and uranium mining operations. It reports on the gap in health system capacities to diagnose and address these challenges. While the mining company indicates that they test the water used by these communities and provides the results to government, people in the community are not aware of the results.

Learning Network Video Resources
University of Cape Town, 2019

This resource provides a range of films which are useful training materials and resources. Films include reflections on community actions towards improving health, such as Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) documentary on “Strengthening Community Feedback Mechanisms for Improved Health Service Delivery” and a documentary film on “How South Africans are taking food security into their own hands” by a student featuring individuals from Klapmuts, Belhar, and Gugulethu in the Western Cape who are initiating food gardens and other programmes to empower their communities and strengthen food security and sovereignty. A short documentary tells the story of the Network of Community Defenders for the Right to Health, users of healthcare services that have organized themselves to identify problems, engage with authorities for resolutions and demand accountability. Also featured is a training video which explores the role of Health Committees from different perspectives – from that of a facility manager, a health care provider, health committee members and patients. Two further films from the Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) project reflect on the social determinants of health and the importance of responding to community health issues in a more holistic manner.

WHO Watch
Peoples Health Movement, 2019

PHM follows closely the work of WHO, both through the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board. A team of PHM volunteers attends WHO bodies’ meetings – following the debate, talking with delegates and making statements to the EB. The PHM’s commentaries covers most of the agenda items of the WHO bodies’ meetings and includes a note on the key issues in focus at the meeting, a brief background and critical commentary. Reports on key issues are also prepared. PHM is part of a wider network of organizations committed to democratizing global health governance and working through the WHO-Watch project. Information from PHM on the proceedings of the May 2019 World Health Assembly can be found at the website provided.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Guideline Recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening
World Health Organisation: WHO, Geneva, 2019

Digital health, or the use of digital technologies for health, has become a salient field of practice for employing routine and innovative forms of information and communications technology (ICT) to address health needs. The World Health Assembly Resolution on Digital Health unanimously approved by WHO Member States in May 2018 demonstrated a collective recognition of the value of digital technologies to contribute to advancing universal health coverage (UHC) and other health aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This guideline presents recommendations on emerging digital health interventions that are contributing to health system improvements, based on an assessment of the benefits, harms, acceptability, feasibility, resource use and equity considerations. This guideline urges readers to recognize that digital health interventions are not a substitute for functioning health systems, and that there are significant limitations to what digital health is able to address. It presents a subset of prioritized digital health interventions accessible via mobile devices, and will gradually include a broader set of emerging digital health interventions in subsequent versions. It includes the following topics: birth notification via mobile devices; death notification via mobile devices; stock notification and commodity management via mobile devices; client1-to-provider telemedicine; provider-to-provider telemedicine; targeted client communication via mobile devices; digital tracking of patients’/clients’ health status and services via mobile devices; health worker decision support via mobile devices; provision of training and educational content to health workers via mobile devices (mobile learning-mLearning).

New app takes African short stories to the world
NGO pulse, Sangonet, March 2019

Anew local app hopes to give African writers global exposure by connecting them with literature fanatics in SA, US and the UK. Storytelling app BookBeak says it is the first African app-based platform to aggregate African short stories from published, unpublished and self-published writers and serve them to a global audience. The app, available on Android and iOS app stores, was founded by three young South Africans, Kamo Sesing, Cam Naidoo and Louis Enslin, and registered under their business Atheneum. Africans have been telling stories for centuries, passing nuggets of cultural knowledge and heritage from one generation to the next through fables, folktales and narrations. BookBeak aims to make it possible for those new and old African stories to be shared with the world in the form of e-books and audio books, while bridging the gap between traditional and digital reading experiences.

Abantu Book Festival as an archive of the future
Coetzee C: Africa is a Country, 2019

Abantu, South Africa, celebrates black intellectual labour and reading cultures. Abantu inter-connects reading and activist work. The third edition of the Abantu Book Festival took place in Soweto in December 2018 adds to a growing collection of images, videos, blog posts, Facebook (Abantu Book Festival) and Twitter updates (@abantu) of a vibrant black literary culture with long histories.

STAR: supporting authors in emerging regions to access journals for free
Taylor and Francis, 2019

Special Terms for Authors and Researchers (STAR) is a Taylor and Francis initiative developed to provide authors and researchers in emerging regions with free access to articles from their leading international and regional journals across subject areas. Those in eligible countries can register for one voucher, per person, per year. Free access will expire after the fiftieth article or twelve months after registration. It is possible to request more accesses after the fiftieth article

e-Learning Course on Health Financing Policy for universal health coverage (UHC)
Osseiran N: World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, 2019

The first e-learning course on health financing policy for universal health coverage has now been launched. This e-learning course comprises six modules which cover the core functions of health financing policy. Each module is divided into a number of sub-topics. This is a foundational course which targets participants of various levels of experience and expertise. The course is designed to be used in a variety of ways: as preparation for those who will attend a WHO face-to-face course, for those who are for various reasons unable to attend a face-to-face course, and for those who have already attended courses and wish to refresh their knowledge. Individual modules can also be used as part of a programme of blended capacity building. Module 1 provides an overview. Module 2 addresses revenue raising and policy objectives. Module 3 looks to pooling and policy objectives, while module 4 and 5 address purchasing and benefit package design.

Scholarship updates for African students and researchers
Strohm R, February 2019

This resource provides a list of scholarships for African students, and research funding for African academics. There are three lists of scholarships and grants for African academics: one for MA and PhD study in Anglophone countries, one for Francophone countries, and one for post-doctoral and research funding. In addition, there are resources for research and travel grants for African professors.