01 Aug 2014

Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health Evaluation Overview


Ministerial leadership in health programe - independent analysis of evaluation findings 2012-2014

  • Region


  • Topic

    Paediatric and Perinatal Health

  • Priority area

    Child Health & Development


    Helene Perold & Associates

  • Report Type

    Evaluations and partner reports

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The Ministerial Leadership in Health (MLIH) Program is a joint initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Launched in November 2011, the Program aims to increase ministerial effectiveness and political leadership – factors that are crucial to creating an enabling environment for sustainable health sector strengthening and improved health outcomes in developing and emergent countries. The Program focuses primarily on leadership effectiveness, health financing and increased efficiency in the use of national budgets, as well as planning, organizing and monitoring policy implementation.

Between 2012 and 2014, 56 ministers from 41 countries participated in the MLIH Program (see page 23). Approximately 10 to 12 serving health and finance ministers from Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America are invited annually to attend separate Ministerial Forums at Harvard University designed to address their specific and overlapping health interests. Ministers are invited based on their demonstrated or prospective leadership in office.

Program evaluation

The MLIH Program includes an ongoing formative evaluation component, which is designed to provide the information necessary to make continuous improvements to the Program. The evaluations are administered during each of the Forums and Senior-Level Regional Workshops. Four indicators are used to assess Program outcomes:

  • Leadership effectiveness
  • Organized systems for priority implementation
  • Increased political support for public health
  • Increased health funding

Over the past three years seven evaluations and two follow-up surveys have been conducted (see below), using the services of three independent evaluators. These have documented and assessed participants’ learning at the Forums and workshops, and have tracked Program impact on ministerial and team actions back home. Although different methodologies have been used over the period 2012 – 2014, the findings have been consistent over the different evaluation efforts and are used here to report on results to date. Much of the evidence of change is self-reported, but the use of quantitative and qualitative data provide the basis for comparison across countries and within ministerial leadership teams. These comparisons strengthen the reliability of the findings made for each country