Governing Multisectoral Action for Health in Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries: Unpacking the Problem and Rising To the Challenge
Multisectoral action is key to addressing many pressing global health challenges and critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but to-date, understanding about how best to promote and support multisectoral action for health is relatively limited. The challenges to multisectoral action may be more acute in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) where institutions are frequently weak, and fragmentation, even within the health sector, can undermine coordination.
This study applies the lens of governance to understand challenges to multisectoral action. This paper,
- provides a high level overview of possible disciplines, frameworks and theories that could be applied to enrich analyses in this field;
- summarises the literature that has sought to describe governance of multisectoral action for health in LMICs using a simple political economy framework that identifies interests, institutions and ideas and
- introduces the papers in the supplement.
This review highlights the diverse, but often political nature of factors influencing the success of multisectoral action.
Key factors include,
- the importance of high level political commitment;
- the incentives for competition versus collaboration between bureaucratic agencies and
- the extent to which there is common understanding across actors about the problem.
The supplement papers seek to promote debate and understanding about research and practice approaches to the governance of multisectoral action and illustrate salient issues through case studies. The papers here are unable to cover all aspects of this topic, but in the final two papers, the researchers seek to develop an agenda for future action.
This paper introduces a supplement on the governance of multisectoral action for health. While many case studies exist in this domain, the present authors identify a need for greater theory-based conceptualization of multisectoral action and more sophisticated empirical investigation of such collaborations.