Financing for Universal
Health Coverage

This special interest group brings together a network of health economists specialising in health financing in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), with a particular focus on financing reforms to support the pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Our diverse group of health economists working in over 20 LMIC will facilitate important cross-country learning and comparisons that will ultimately raise the quality and recognition of our research and training in this area. Our group will regularly seek opportunities to reflect and share lessons on national and global financing reforms. If you are interested in health financing for UHC and want to learn what others are doing in this field, then this is the group for you!


You can view upcoming activities here.

Past Webinars

  • Financing PHC In LMICs: Putting People At The Centre – September 13, 2022
  • From Rhetoric to Reality: The Role of Economic Evaluation in Universal Health Coverage – May 24, 2022
  • Does the Design of Pay-for-performance Matter? Evidence from a National Programme Brazil – March 16, 2022
  • Financing Health Care across Borders: Achieving Universal Health Coverage for Refugees – May 6, 2021
  • From Double Shock to Double Recovery. Implications and Options for Health Financing in the Time of COVID-19 – April 19, 2021
  • Health care financing, Universal Health Coverage and COVID-19 – August 27, 2020
  • Measuring financial protection for chronic illness in low-and middle-income countries – April 9, 2020
  • Assessing country progress in health financing: a qualitative approach – October 4, 2019
  • Strategic Purchasing for Universal Health Coverage: theory and practice – March 26, 2019
  • Health results-based financing – What have we learned so far about effects, equity and spillovers? – December 12, 2019


July Update


SIG members have contributed wonderful teaching resources to the Teaching Materials Repository.  You will find them here; just search using “Health Financing and Expenditure” in the Health Economics Topic box.

We encourage you to submit materials to the repository here.


Our overall objective is to broaden the evidence base for informing policy on how Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) can develop equitable health financing systems that can bring them closer to universal health coverage.

More specifically, we seek to:

  1. Foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between health economists specialising in health financing in LMICs;
  2. Strengthen the analytical capacity for health financing research – especially amongst early-mid career researchers and women in LMICs; and
  3. Share and critique latest methods for conducting equity-focused evaluations of health financing reforms and systems;
  4. Contribute to international policy debates on financing for universal health coverage; and
  5. Share educational resources and materials among IHEA members and more broadly.

A key dimension of a health system’s performance is the fairness of its financing system. Globally, some 100 million people fall below the poverty line every year because of out-of-pocket expenditures on health, and a further 1.2 billion, already living in poverty, are pushed deeper into it. In countries such as Pakistan, Laos, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Nigeria and Sudan out-of-pocket payments represent 50% or more of total health expenditure.

Governments worldwide are seeking to develop their health financing systems to provide financial protection and achieve universal health coverage (UHC), defined as access to key promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health interventions of good quality for all at an affordable cost. As countries focus on increasing effective coverage and financial risk protection, it is critically important to ensure that the poor and vulnerable – who are often the most difficult to reach – are not left behind.

Economists continue to make important contributions to the assessment of how well health systems are performing on this front. Equity analyses of health financing systems are steadily growing and currently there are a range of pragmatic evaluations of transformative equity-focused reforms to health financing systems underway in Low and Middle Income Countries. The time is ripe for members of IHEA to come together to exchange ideas and build professional networks that will help shape both research and policy agendas for UHC.


Dr. Laura Anselmi, UK

Dr. Peter Binyaruka, Tanzania

Dr. Jacopo Gabani, USA

Dr. Manon Haemmerli, Egypt

Dr. Jacob Novignon, Ghana

Dr. Hasbullah Thabrany, Indonesia