9:00—10:15 AM Eastern time (US and Canada)

Should Countries Integrate Vertical Programmes into National Health Benefit Packages? Perspectives From Countries and Donors


  • Lydia Regan, Research Associate, Center for Global Development


  • Isabelle Maina, Head of Healthcare Financing, Ministry of Health Kenya
  • A. K. Nandakumar, Professor of the Practice; Director, Institute for Global Health and Development
  • David Wilson, Senior Program Officer in Decision Sciences, Gates Foundation
  • Ellen Van De Poel, Senior Health Economist, Health financing Lead, The Global Financing Facility


  • Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President, Center for Global Development


As many countries move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), there are many questions about whether to include (and if so, how?) disease programmatic areas that are heavily supported by external funding in health benefits packages (HBPs). Historically, donors and multilateral organisations have channelled funding in health through vertical disease programs (often off-budget), which often target top disease burdens in countries. While this may have advantages (e.g., ease of management, greater accountability, strong financial control), this practice has become subject of controversy for over two decades. Many funders have recently shifted funding to a health systems level approach and seek to promote sustainability of their programmes through greater integration with local systems. As a result, integration of programmes in the UHC plan could represent an opportunity to achieve the shift of ownership away from donors. However, this does not come without challenges, both at the country and donor level.

This event will bring together representatives from donor organisations and countries to discuss their experience and the identified challenges.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to [email protected], tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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