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Policy dialogue and participation: a new way of crafting a national health financing strategy in Morocco

  • Akhnif, El Houcine1
  • Hachri, Hafid1
  • Belmadani, Abdelouahab2
  • Mataria, Awad3
  • Bigdeli, Maryam1
  • 1 World Health Organization Country Office of Morocco, 3 Avenue S.A.R. Sidi Mohamed, Rabat, Morocco , Rabat (Morocco)
  • 2 Ministry of Health, Directorate of Planning of Financial Resources, 335, Avenue Mohamed V, Rabat, Morocco , Rabat (Morocco)
  • 3 World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Nasr City, Cairo, 11371, Egypt , Nasr City (Egypt)
Published Article
Health Research Policy and Systems
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Sep 29, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12961-020-00629-2
Springer Nature


BackgroundPolicy dialogue for health policies has started to gain importance in recent years, especially for complex issues such as health financing. Moroccan health financing has faced several challenges during the last years. This study aims to document the Moroccan experience in developing a consolidated health financing strategy according to the policy dialogue approach. It especially considers the importance of conceptualising this process in the Moroccan context.MethodWe documented the process of developing a health financing strategy in Morocco. It concerned four steps, as follows: (1) summarising health financing evidence in preparation of the policy dialogue; (2) organising the health policy dialogue process with 250 participants (government, private sector, NGOs, civil society, parliamentarians, technical and financial partners); (3) a technical workshop to formulate the strategy actions; and (4) an ultimate workshop for validation with decision-makers. The process lasted 1 year from March 2019 to February 2020. We have reviewed all documents related to the four steps of the process through our active participation in the policy debate and the documentation of two technical workshops to produce the strategy document.ResultsThe policy dialogue approach showed its usefulness in creating convergence among all health actors to define a national shared vision on health financing in Morocco. There was a high political commitment in the process and all actors officially adopted recommendations on health financing actions. A strategy document produced within a collaborative approach was the final output. This experience also marked a shift from previous top-down approaches in designing health policies for more participation and inclusion. The evidence synthesis played a crucial role in facilitating the debate. The collaborative approach seems to work in favouring national consensus on practical health financing actions.ConclusionThe policy dialogue process adopted for health financing in Morocco helped to create collective ownership of health financing actions. Despite the positive results in terms of national mobilisation around the health financing vision in Morocco, there is a need to institutionalise the policy dialogue with a more decentralised approach to consider subnational specificities.

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