Sub-Saharan African countries are making efforts to move rapidly towards universal health coverage. However, resources are limited and must be used wisely. Strategic purchasing is an approach to get more value for money spent and to ensure equity. To support the implementation of strategic purchasing mechanisms in the health sector, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the establishment of a Strategic Purchasing Resource Center for Africa (SPARC) that aims to build the capacity of countries in sub-Saharan Africa in strategic purchasing.
To do this, SPARC has partnered with a consortium of English- and French-speaking partners based in Africa, including Recherche pour la Santé et le Développement (RESADE) in Burkina Faso, to measure and track progress in strategic purchasing in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of facilitating national and regional learning.
Since 2019, RESADE with support from SPARC has generated evidence on the implementation experience of strategic purchasing interventions in Burkina Faso. A Strategic Health Purchasing (SHP) progress mapping framework was developed as a first step. Next, this framework was used to map procurement functions, capacities, and governance arrangements in Burkina Faso. Finally, the impact of strategic purchasing functions and arrangements on (i) improved resource allocation mechanisms, incentives and accountability, as well as (ii) health system outcomes such as equity, access, financial protection, quality, efficiency and financial sustainability, was assessed.

The results of the activities conducted by RESADE with SPARC support were presented during a workshop to stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, civil society, NGOs, and technical and financial partners who have an interest in strategic purchasing in Burkina Faso. The workshop also provided the basis for stakeholder engagement, joint identification of priorities for action to improve strategic purchasing practices, and development of a roadmap for a holistic approach to strategic purchasing of priority health services in Burkina Faso.