Strengthening district health systems

Finding local solutions for global health challenges.

A mother lies on her side, head in hand, with her baby seated in front of her outside a health centre in Uganda.

Achieving health results for children requires strong local capacities. Without effective management to support evidence-based planning, frequent monitoring and prompt course correction, even the most promising health programmes and policies can go astray.

Communities need well-trained local practitioners to implement effective, equitable health interventions. They also need robust data collection and analysis processes to identify gaps in access, quality and efficiency, and to develop culturally sensitive solutions that ensure children and adolescents receive the care they deserve.

As part of UNICEF's work to strengthen health systems, UNICEF has developed an approach to strengthen district health systems, aimed at improving the capacity of local teams to drive equitable results for children, adolescents and mothers.

Our approach

  • Strengthen health information systems
  • Improve the use of data in planning and management
  • Improve accountability mechanisms within governments and with communities

UNICEF’s approach to strengthening district health systems brings children closer to quality, affordable care and services. Our efforts help local health professionals better use evidence to develop solutions that improve national policy implementation and the quality of care.

We help achieve universal health coverage by enhancing the availability and quality of data, allowing practitioners to better manage the use of local health resources. We also involve communities in programme planning, implementation and monitoring.

UNICEF and partners have implemented this approach in 25 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia to support reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition outcomes, and to prevent and respond to HIV and AIDS.


The UNICEF Health Systems Strengthening Approach

Learn more about our vision for, and approach to, health system strengthening that reliably serves children, adolescents and women of reproductive age.

Use of the RMNCAH Scorecard to Strengthen Data-Driven Service Delivery in a Devolved Health System Framework in Kenya

This report shows how UNICEF supports Kenya in rolling out the Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) scorecard at decentralized levels.

UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Institutional Support in Programme Monitoring and Response Initiative, 2014–2018: Lessons Learned in Uganda

This report highlights the role of near-real-time monitoring and community dialogue in supporting action for maternal and child health.