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Webinar - Simplify in order to amplify: Making governance frameworks fit for practice

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Simplify in order to amplify: Making governance frameworks fit for practice

5 December, 2017


On December 5th, the Health Systems Governance Collaborative was proud to co-host the second webinar of our series on Health Systems Governance Frameworks and Missing Links. This time, we teamed up with SHAPES, the Health Systems Global thematic working group on social science approaches for research and engagement in health policy and systems.

Building on their recently published paper Health Sector Governance: should we be investing more?  Sara Bennett and Bob Fryatt took turns as lead speakers, to demonstrate the necessity of simplifying governance in order to amplify its reach and present suggestions on how to give governance in health systems the attention it deserves.

A few first comments by invited panelists kick-started an animated exploration of health sector governance and showed how governance frameworks debates open the door to a broad spectrum of important questions. Commentators raised hard power issues (“Governance frameworks are not the problem, but tackling governance is tackling power”), including private sector influence on governance.

They touched on differentials in governance, such as regarding the many dilemmas that come up in interventions on health systems in fragile or authoritarian contexts. They reflected on fundamental points surrounding self-regulation as a weak form of governance. Issues of communication came up, such as in ”How to get the governance messages across to very different audiences In health systems?”

More than 90 people signed on to participate in the discussion. In all the diversity of reflection, most participants agreed with Bob Fryatt’s appeal: “Let’s just stop talking about frameworks, and start to make governance actionable”.

Feel free to join and share your opinion using the comment button below. 

If you missed the webinar you will find the recording and the slides of the presentation in our media section.

Quotes from the webinar

Bob Fryatt – “We need to stop talking about frameworks & definitions. We need to make investments where there is compelling evidence of the impact on health. By doing this we will expand essential services to those who need it.”

Sara Bennett – “Disruptive innovation is needed in governance. For example in the use of IT to increase transparency and access to information.”

Walter Flores – “Governance has not been taken seriously. It's a question of power. Most governance frameworks are power blind.”

Eddie Premdas – “The health sector is not one homogenous entity. In India 75% of care is private. Private sector vigorously resists any form of governance, e.g. recent private sector doctor protest against regulation in Karnataka.”

Thidar Pyone – “Governance is about more than accountability: there is also transparency, participation, rule of law. We need to move beyond individual principle-agent focus of accountability towards collective action aspects of governance.”

“We need to discuss more on how to intervene on health systems governance in authoritarian regimes.” @governance_hs@H_S_Global

Lead Presenters:

Robert Fryatt, International Health Divison, Abt Associates Inc
Sara Bennett, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health


Thidar Pyone, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Walter Flores, Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems

Eddie Premdas Pinto, Centre for Health and Social Justice



You can find both the presentation and full session in separate videos below.

Presentation only:

Full session:


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