Multi-Level Pro-Poor Health Governance, Statistical Information Flows, and the Role of Regional Organizations In South America and Southern Africa

In the past decades, health governance has become multi-layered as the combined result of decentralisation, regional integration and the emergence of new actors nationally and internationally. Whereas this has –in principle – enhanced the installed capacity for health response worldwide, this complexity also poses serious challenges for health governance and policy-making. This paper focuses on one of these challenges, namely the organisation of statistical information flows at and between governance levels, and the emerging role that regional organisations play therein. Our aim is to understand the extent to which statistics are regionally coordinated and the role regional organisations are playing with respect to national health information systems. In this paper, we address this aim by analysing regional to national-level data flows with the use of two case studies focusing on UNASUR (Bolivia and Paraguay) and SADC (Swaziland and Zambia). Special attention is given to pro-poor health policies, those health policies that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequities.