Health Policy Project

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





With maternal and child mortality rates among the highest in the world, Afghanistan suffers from severely poor health conditions brought about by decades of war and instability. Many of the nation’s 33 million people do not have access to essential primary health services due to security concerns, lack of infrastructure, and a shortage of trained healthcare providers.

In recent years, Afghanistan has improved in its ability to provide basic healthcare services. Yet, while the private health sector has grown rapidly and accounts for a large percentage of the country’s expenditures in health, it is largely unregulated and the quality of service remains a concern. The government in Afghanistan is working to improve oversight and regulation of the private health sector while continuing to build stronger public-private partnerships to expand equitable access to basic healthcare.

What We Do

The Health Policy Project (HPP) is working to sustain growth in the private health sector by building the capacity of local organizations to provide high-quality health services. We also strengthen the government’s capacity to oversee and finance the nation’s health systems and build stronger relationships between public and private health sectors. HPP programs seek to integrate gender equality principles throughout the health sector, making health services more equitable, with a focus on improving the health of women and girls.

Improve Policy Environment for Effective Delivery of Health Services in the Private Sector

Image of HPP staff meeting at an investment promotion conference
HPP-supported investment promotion conference.

HPP is helping to strengthen the government’s regulatory system of the private health sector. We provide technical support to the Ministry of Public Health to enhance its stewardship role in implementing new policies and regulations, and strengthen its capacity to oversee public-private partnerships. Our programs also help coordinate processes for establishing operating standards for private hospitals and health centers to ensure they provide high-quality services.

Strengthen Health Financing

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is working to strengthen overall health financing and improve transparency in planning, managing, and delivering health services. HPP assistance strengthens the Ministry of Public Health’s capacity to analyze the cost and impact of expanding health programs. In turn, decision makers can use this information to develop priorities in the national health program and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of resources across the entire health sector, ultimately enhancing the quality and availability of healthcare.

Build the Capacity of Private Sector Health Organizations

HPP builds the management, operational, and advocacy capacities of private sector hospitals, health associations, and medical professional groups. Our programs help strengthen their governance and self-regulatory capacity to enhance the overall quality of products and services provided by their members. This also enables private sector organizations to strengthen their partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in expanding health services throughout the country.

Address Gender Disparities in Health Services

The approval of the Ministry of Public Health’s National Gender Strategy was a landmark policy decision indicating Afghanistan’s support for addressing gender equity throughout the health sector. HPP support strengthens the government’s capacity to implement the new strategy, which is essential in making health services more equitable for men and women, and helps improve the health of women and girls. We also provide technical assistance to improve the government’s capacity to monitor their progress in delivering gender-sensitive health programming aimed at reaching more women with basic healthcare.

Improve the Policy Environment for HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment

While overall HIV prevalence in Afghanistan is low, the growing number of people who inject drugs and a significantly higher HIV prevalence among this population underscores the importance of ensuring that HIV remains high on Afghanistan’s policy agenda. Through its support to the HIV and AIDS Coordination Committee of Afghanistan, HPP activities help strengthen the stewardship role of the National AIDS Control Programme to coordinate HIV programs and create a supportive policy environment that enable the improvement of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.

Publications and Resources

Afghanistan Country Factsheet (PDF) 

Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) in Kabul National Hospitals
The objective of the pilot PETS in Afghanistan was to track the flow of funds from the central level (from the Ministry of Finance [MoF]) to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to the 16 national hospitals of Kabul city. At each level, the survey investigated the budget processes of preparation, approval, allotment, transfer, utilization, and delays, as well as leakages in the budget process.

Strengthening the Pharmaceutical Sector in Afghanistan: A Study Tour of the Afghan National Medicines Services Organization to Turkey
As part of the USAID-funded Health Policy Project's multifaceted programming in Afghanistan, staff from the Afghan government’s General Director of Pharmaceutical Affairs undertook a five-day study tour to engage with peers in Turkey. They they learned how to design and create relevant strategies, services and partnerships, with a focus on the private sector.

Health Economics and Financing in Afghanistan
This brief provides an overview of the USAID-funded Health Policy Project's work in health financing in Afghanistan.

A Literature Review on Determinants of Gender Sensitivity within the Afghanistan Health System
The literature review provides scientific evidence of the need for a tool to determine whether a health facility is gender sensitive and is integrating gender across all aspects of healthcare services. The findings in the literature review are guiding the development of such a tool for the MOPH’s use to monitor the progress of gender integration in all facilities over time and make comparisons across facilities.

Afghanistan National Health Accounts 2011-2012
The National Health Accounts (NHA) framework is an international, standardized resource tracking methodology used to summarize and analyze health expenditures in a country’s health sector. In recognizing the potential policy impact, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) conducted its first round of NHA in 2011, using data from fiscal year 2008-2009. In 2013, HPP supported the MoPH in conducting its second round of NHA, using data from 2011-2012. This report describes the results from the general NHA as well as from a reproductive health (RH) subaccount, which was conducted simultaneously to better understand spending on reproductive health services.


Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health Launches the Health Economics Exchange Forum

HPP/Afghanistan Celebrates Three Years of Health Sector Progress

Transforming Afghanistan’s Health System

Public-Private Partnership Hospitals to Bring High-Quality Health Services to More Afghans

Building Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Health Services in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Pursues Global Investment in the Health Sector

Building Afghanistan’s Capacity to Improve Healthcare Efficiency and Sustainability

New Skills Help Afghan Ministry of Public Health Track Expenditure Data


HPP collaborates with a range of in-country and international partners in Afghanistan, including:

  • Afghanistan Private Hospitals Association (APHA)
  • Afghan National Medicines Services Organization (ANMSO)
  • Afghan Midwifery Association (AMA)
  • Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO)
  • Futures Group
  • HIV/AIDS Coordination Committee of Afghanistan (HACCA) Secretariat
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • Organization of Afghan Midwives (OAM)
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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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