Third CIS NHA workshop: Progress to Date and Future Steps
The Third National Health Accounts (NHA) workshop for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) took place June 14-16, 2006 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The workshop, the final in a series of three, provided an opportunity for participants to present progress made in each country since the last CIS NHA workshop held in Tbilisi, Georgia in December, 2005. Participants were able to clarify technical issues and discuss future NHA development in each country and the region. All three workshops were organized under the leadership of the USAID funded PHRplus project. In total 26 participants representing seven countries including Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine attended the meeting.
Momentum to enhance NHA development in the region evidenced during the second workshop was reflected by progress made by each country in their NHA implementation. By June 2006, national NHA teams have been formed in all participating countries except Moldova and institutionalized by decree in Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine. Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine have adapted the NHA classifications to their country context. Georgia and Ukraine have produced reports on findings from the first round of general NHA and from reproductive health sub-analysis. Ukraine has also presented findings on HIV/AIDS sub-analysis. Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are in the process of data collection for the first round of general NHA. Moldova is planning initiation of NHA for 2007 and the country representative expressed interest in institutionalizing NHA in the country. Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan did not participate in the third workshop since both countries do not have concrete plans for starting NHA.
The discussions on the last day focused on building consensus to set up a CIS regional NHA network. The main objective of this network would be to provide technical assistance by experts in the region, organize regional workshops, and create a webpage to serve as a virtual forum for technical discussions. The idea of establishing a regional network was met with an overwhelming positive response by the participants. Participants and donors are keen to continue working together on NHA implementation and institutionalization in the region. However, financial support to establish and sustain such a network is yet to be determined.
The workshop was successful and very well received by all participants who particularly liked the interactive nature of the event. Main plenary sessions were focused on such issues as linking NHA to existing in-country health information systems, providing comparable results for international health indicators, and emphasizing the usefulness of NHA in health expenditure estimates with examples from Europe. Technical information presented during the practical sessions was also well received. Topics for many discussions were based on recommendations provided by participants at the second workshop and generated fruitful dialogues. Participants were able to discuss filling in the tables, mapping SNA and ICHA Codes, and the definition of boundaries for the classification of functions. Workshop presentations and the agenda can be accessed here in Russian and English.
Collaborating representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization were in attendance. For more information, please contact Lena_Kolyada@abtassoc.com.