Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).


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HEPP Work with Civil Society Leads to Regulatory Changes in Public Sector Procurement of Essential Commodities

November 22, 2015

The approval of financial regulations aimed to increased transparency in Guatemala in 2008 prevented the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) from procuring essential commodities, such as vaccines, ARVs, contraceptives, micronutrients, and surgical supplies, from cost-saving international sources. These regulations forced the ministry to pay up to 300% more for commodities of lesser quality for two years. Based on work started in 2010, the HEPP-supported reproductive health watchdog (OSAR) and National Contraceptive Security Commission (CNAA) successfully advocated for annual interim exceptions to these regulations from 2011 through 2014.

In 2013, HEPP supported legal and policy analyses to determine how to best enact permanent change to the restrictive regulations. HEPP used these findings to further support OSAR and MSPAS representatives on a congressional working group charged with recommending procurement contracting reform. The group submitted its recommendations to Congress in 2014. In mid-November 2015, Congress finally approved regulations that allow the MSPAS to directly procure a wide range of commodities from regional and international suppliers. These changes contribute to the sustainability of family planning programs, since they allow the government to make significant savings. For example, sourcing a year’s supply of depo provera from UNFPA could save over $1.7 million. 

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The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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