PHC in Policies Tracker

Related program: Advocacy and policy

Policies that build strong primary health care (PHC) systems are essential to advancing health equity, but they are complex and difficult to design. PATH created the PHC in Policies Tracker as a consolidated source of information to equip stakeholders including policymakers, advocates, implementers, and donors with information about existing policies that shape PHC systems.

Creating the tracker

The PHC in Policies Tracker maps and analyzes data about national-level health policies relevant to PHC in low- and middle- income countries, analyzes and visualizes data about what those policies include, and facilitates cross-country advocacy and learning. The dashboard is designed to provide policymakers, advocates, and donors with data to shape policy dialogues—helping not only to identify strengths and weaknesses of PHC policies in your own country and around the world, but also to learn from others grappling with similar complex policy challenges.

While there is significant momentum for strengthening PHC around the world accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed how gaps in primary-level care leave health systems vulnerable—there is limited information on what it takes to strengthen health systems for PHC from a policy perspective.

To fill this gap, PATH undertook a landscaping review of national-level health sector strategies and plans, PHC- or UHC-specific policies, and community health strategies in 26 countries. Our aim was to better understand the PHC policy ecosystem in order to create an up-to-date repository and data dashboard about PHC policy documents.

To identify core elements of PHC, PATH drew on key global-level guidance documents from WHO, PHCPI, the Global Digital Health Monitor, and others, as well as the experience of our own advocates and technical experts, to develop a scoring rubric with 39 topics recommended as some of the key elements for building a robust policy ecosystem for PHC. We used this rubric to assess each of the policies we had collected for its alignment to recommendations around the topics across 7 key themes.


Overview: key findings from the tracker project

Explore the executive summary, which gives an overview of the tracker, findings and key takeaways from the project, our methodology, the list of 39 topics assessed, and more.

Read the brief

In the tracker

Policies are assessed on seven themes:

> Governance

> Models of care

> Infrastructure and workforce

> Financing

> Data and digital health

> Social accountability

> Equity

PHC policy tracker findings at a glance
countries included
policies analyzed
topics assessed per policy
The tracker reveals that countries’ policies for PHC are moderately well aligned with key global guidance—78% alignment on average.
PHC policy tracker findings by theme
  • Countries are most closely aligned with global guidance for topics in the theme models of care, and least closely aligned with global guidance in the themes data/digital health as well as equity.
  • Although the extent of alignment with global frameworks varies from country to country and from topic to topic, across all countries assessed, it is rare that topics for robust policy for PHC are completely omitted from a country’s policies. In fact, the majority of countries fully address most topics in their policies.
  • On average, each topic is fully addressed in policies by approximately two thirds of countries we assessed.


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PATH is continuing to build out findings from the project. Click the button below if you have questions, feedback, or if you would like us to send you updates on the tracker and related materials.

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