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Improving the accurate costing of HIV programmes in Africa

Health costing tools are useful for policy makers and other stakeholders to understand and predict finances related to different health programmes. There are various activities currently underway to refine these costing tools.

The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is leading research efforts to better understand the comprehensive costs of delivering HIV-related services to inform planning and improve the efficiency of health service delivery.

PEPFAR implementers are using the activity-based costing for management (ABC-M) methodology to estimate the comprehensive HIV costs in four-to-seven African countries. At the same time, the Gates Foundation has approved a grant to Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to conduct costing of health services at primary healthcare (PHC) level, including HIV services in several African countries.

Genesis has been awarded a contract to undertake a number of learning activities that will improve countries’ abilities to accurately cost their HIV programmes, using national data systems, and interpret existing cost data, thereby enabling more effective planning, budgeting and ongoing decision-making. Learning activities in this project will examine four areas of research:

  • Describing the landscape of health costing and resource tracking efforts at a global and country specific levels and developing a framework for understanding the key costing and expenditure tracking tools in HIV, TB and PHC.
  • Developing a deep understanding of the differences between ABC-M and the MSH costing approach and methodologies, and the implications on costs and uses.
  • Reviewing how available cost data is being used by decision makers to shape policy and inform programme management decisions.
  • Identifying the opportunities and feasibility for institutionalisation of ABC-M in selected geographies to routinely collect and analyse cost data from national data systems.

Ultimately the findings from this work will assist stakeholders, partners and in-country stakeholders to understand which costing methods and tools are best suited to inform planning and decision-making for HIV-related services. And how these tools can be tailored to local data and systems that allows for the routine generation of accurate and comprehensive costing data for HIV programmes.

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