What is P4H?
P4H is a global network for universal health coverage (UHC) and social health protection (SHP).
Recognizing that access to quality health care for poor and disadvantaged groups remains a critical challenge in many countries, P4H was launched as a political initiative for SHP at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in 2007. Since then, P4H has evolved into a unique support network for UHC/SHP in low and middle income countries – based on a model that takes global multi- and bilateral cooperation to the next level.
A global network with a unique composition
P4H comprises the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the International Labor Organization (ILO,) the African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Spanish Development Cooperation Agency (AECID) - a broad mix of key development partners and investors in UHC and SHP with different mandates, purposes, comparative strengths and sector affiliation. P4H combines the political commitment and financial contributions of its bilateral members with the respective normative and technical support of the multilateral members and the wealth of expertise, experience and connections of the affiliated bilateral implementing organisations, AFD, GIPSPSI, GIZ and KfW.
An evolving network that adapts to need
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges different countries face. Thus, P4H uses a flexible and evolving network approach that is best adapted to accommodate the different interests of the diverse DPs involved, while at the same time allowing for a customised response to countries’ particular needs. This approach is the result of bottom-up, experience-based deliberation and design, and is what makes P4H different to more formalized partnerships.
A support network that combines three main functions.
The network serves as:
- a platform for information exchange and dialogue, on all issues related to UHC/SHP, including controversial issues based on different values, interests or ideologies;
- a mechanism for coordination of multi-/bilateral technical support across sectors and cooperation levels;
- a marketplace for collaboration and complementary investments for scaling up support and filling any support gaps, in particular for developing capacity for UHC/SHP.
These functions can be combined in a flexible manner tailored to the specific support needs of a country.
A lean and efficient network
P4H works with a lean management structure and draws on the global, regional and country structures of its members. To facilitate collaboration and coordination between partners at global, regional and country level, P4H members have established a small coordination team - the P4H Coordination Desk - hosted by WHO in Geneva.
A table summarising the main characteristics and aspirations of P4H can be downloaded below