Learning for Action Across Health Systems: Initial findings from research for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation by Oxford Policy Management.

Meeting Organizer

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne

Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University

Development Policy Centre, Australian National University

International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Contact Person : Alex Jones,

29 January 2018
09:00 - 12:30 hrs.

Open to All Participants


Learning for Action Across Health Systems refers to the practice of drawing lessons from the experiences, challenges and successes of one health system and using them to inform decisions in another. Improved cross system learning in low-income countries could enable health systems to capitalise on better information and knowledge in the drive to achieve universal health coverage. Through a series of case studies, expert interviews, international workshops and literature reviews we have identified areas of significant future potential to recommend an investment strategy for the global health community. This is an important project, which has the potential to dramatically increase learning across health systems in low-income countries. On the technical side, the project had been led by Kara Hanson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Barbara McPake (Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne), Sophie Witter (Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University), Ian Anderson (Development Policy Centre, Australian National University) and Jack Langenbrunner (BMGF). In advance of the meeting we will be circulating the project’s literature reviews, case study reports and key recommendations among attendees. Expected output/outcome: Participants will come away with a better understanding of what, why and how health systems learn from each other, what some of that gaps in processes are (while recognising the extensive existing work in the field) and have contributed to a discussion around potential solutions for the future. OPM will prepare a summary note from the side meeting, and use the discussion to feed back into our final recommendations to the BMGF. The BMGF will attend the side meeting as observers.


The meeting has three objectives: 1. To share new evidence about what, why and how countries learn from each other while implementing health sector reforms. This evidence has been gathered though a combination of literature reviews, country case studies, expert interviews and international consultation. We have systematically synthesised the evidence in an attempt to better understand the processes under which learning may occur. 2. To reflect on the identified gaps in the processes of cross-country learning. Bearing in mind the extensive efforts already in play to facilitate this type of learning, what are the remaining barriers and feasible enablers to learning across health systems? 3. To consider and discuss a range of options for how these gaps might be addressed, again, taking into account the existing initiatives to facilitate such learning. This will be an open discussion, where we will welcome the perspectives of participants. This is good opportunity for members of the global health community to contribute their perspectives and tacit knowledge to the analysis of potential new initiatives.