New Tools Help to Demystify Universal Health Coverage

The idea of universal health coverage (UHC) as a goal of health policy has gained wide acceptance at country and global levels. UHC is now a fixture of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. Under Goal 3 of the SDGs, the “health goal”, Target 3.8 aims to “Achieve UHC, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.” The goals of UHC are closely aligned with the USAID priorities of Ending Preventable Maternal and Child Deaths (EPCMD) and creating an AIDS-Free Generation (AFG), and USAID has supported UHC reforms in many countries.

To raise USAID Missions’ awareness and knowledge of UHC and how it fits with USAID’s programs, the HFG project prepared the UHC Toolkit. The kit comprises three pieces:

  1. A slide deck on UHC;
  2. An annotated bibliography of core UHC publications; and
  3. A two-page frequently asked questions on general concepts in UHC and the role and relevance of UHC in the work of USAID.

The Toolkit

Demystifying Universal Health Coverage

The purpose of this presentation is to equip audiences with the ability to:

  • Define universal health coverage (UHC) and understand the basic tenets of UHC
  • Identify how UHC fits in USAID’s health and poverty reduction strategies
  • Effectively communicate to country stakeholders how USAID can support a country’s progress towards UHC
  • Identify relevant UHC resources within the Office of Health Systems and USAID
Download the Presentation


UHC bibliography coverUniversal Health Coverage: An Annotated Bibliography

There is growing literature that builds the evidence base in support of UHC, and also documents important policy lessons on achieving UHC. This brief presents an annotated bibliography of useful resources on UHC, targeting USAID staff. It includes high-level reports to introduce UHC to non-health systems experts, as well as references for books and journal articles that explore key policy questions in more depth. For UHC to be feasible, policymakers must first be able to define, measure, and monitor it.

The 26 selected resources are organized in the following sections: 1) Basic concepts and background, 2) Measurement, 3) Country examples and applications, 4) Health financing, 5) Benefit plans, 6) Other relevant topics, and 7) Additional resources. While not an exhaustive list of the topics and resources relevant to UHC, this brief aims to cover the basics and to inspire the reader to ask the right questions when exploring UHC.

Download the Annotated Bibliography


Universal Health Coverage: Frequently Asked Questions

This brief answers several “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) on universal health coverage (UHC):

  1. What is Universal Health Coverage (UHC)?
  2. How does UHC align with USAID’s priorities?
  3. How does UHC relate to broader goals for development, including the Sustainable Development Goals?
  4. How is UHC measured?
  5. What progress has been made towards UHC?
  6. How does USAID support countries’ UHC efforts?
Download the FAQ




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