The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) is a peer-to-peer learning platform that aims to help low- and middle-income countries learn from one another, jointly problem-solve, and collectively produce and use new knowledge, tools, and innovative approaches to accelerate country progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).

Background and Partners

The JLN emerged from a realization that health financing reforms aimed at UHC are very challenging– both in designing the policies and effectively implementing them to assure the desired impact – and much knowledge about how to effectively design and implement reforms resides in practitioners who have led or are in the process of leading reform processes. Since its inception in 2010, the JLN has grown to include ten member countries: Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Nigeria, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The JLN has developed four technical focus areas, or “tracks” based on member demand: provider payment mechanisms, information technology, quality, and expanding coverage. In addition, a Joint Learning Fund has been established to flexibly fund small, demand-driven cross-country learning activities.

Technical Tracks

The JLN is focused on four technical tracks that were determined based on demand from network members:

Provider Payment Mechanisms (PPM) The aim of the JLN Provider Payment Mechanisms (PPM) Track is to create and solidify new partnerships among participating countries to articulate and meet specific needs for support in the design, implementation and evaluation of strategic PPM to achieve and sustain universal health coverage. Since it began in August 2011, the track has developed its approach to providing a broad framework structuring the PPM reform process, a platform for cross-learning, and direct support for JLN countries to share experience and solve common problems in order to advance provider payment reform in support of broader UHC objectives. The overall approach of the track is to work along these three activity streams that fit together and complement each other at both a country and global level.

Information Technology (IT) The Information Technology (IT) track, led by led by PATH and PharmAccess is focused on developing shared common solutions that can be used across the JLN countries (and beyond, to other non-member countries). Track leads work to convene groups of JLN country practitioners to collaboratively develop shared tools related to the elements of an information system that are essential to making the scheme policy function. Examples of tools include a health data dictionary prototype, and common business requirements for key processes within a health insurance information system. These common tools are made publicly available so that countries can use them as a starting point to develop tailored applications for their particular context.

Quality (QT) The Quality track, managed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – International (NICE), focuses on identifying ways in which purchasers can influence quality improvements within a health system. A high-quality health system is defined by its fidelity to cost-effective, evidence-based care; its capacity to continuously learn from and prevent errors; and its commitment to the respect and dignity of the patients and families it serves. The work of the Quality Track is directed at guiding, connecting and empowering payer institutions and their government partners from the JLN countries to impact the quality of health systems. Its goal is to develop, together with the JLN countries and other JLN tracks, a better understanding of the options available to payers to drive improvements in health system quality and to support JLN countries in designing and testing strategies to improve the quality of the local health delivery systems.

Expanding Coverage Leveraging the joint learning model, the Expanding Coverage (EC) Track facilitates knowledge transfer and exchange among member and resource countries across the benefits (essential and cost-effective interventions) and population (informal sector, disadvantaged groups) dimensions. The track kicked off activities in June 2011 at the JLN joint learning workshop in Mombasa, Kenya where countries gathered to share approaches and problem-solve around challenges in extending coverage to poor and informal sector populations.

Joint Learning Fund The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) instituted the Joint Learning Fund (JLF) to further foster learning exchanges among the member countries in their journey to achieve UHC. Lead by ACCESS Health International, Inc., the JLF provides JLN member countries with grants of up to $50,000 to support cross-country learning activities. The JLF is supported with funding from Rockefeller Foundation. Specific activities that can be supported include:

  • Exchange programs between countries to gain experiences in specific areas for universal health coverage (e.g. monitoring systems, provider payment mechanisms, quality of care, and use of technology).
  • Engagement of experts to work with the member countries in specific areas as per the country requirements.
  • Study tours and secondments for capacity building of individuals and teams involved in planning and designing of the reform process.
  • Regional events to better understand and analyze challenges facing two or more countries in a region and explore opportunities for collaboratives.
  • Research related to planning, design, implementation and pilot of the reform


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