The MLIH Program encourages finance ministers participating in the annual Ministerial Forum at Harvard to set ambitious legacy goals for their tenure. These goals seldom initially include improving national health as top priority, but when ministers are required to synthesize their bigger goals: economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction they recognize the fundamental importance of a healthy productive population. The underlying goal of the separate parallel tracks for health and finance ministers participating in the MLIH Program is to foster closer collaboration by showing practical and specific ways how each can help support the priorities of the other. That requires that each of the ministers appreciates the other’s perspectives and priorities. The common ground between the two is the health budget and specifically the need to achieve value and results from the government’s investment in health in order to improve standards of service delivery and health outcomes.
Using an analytical framework (below) focusing on the principal drivers of health delivery, while at Harvard, both health and finance ministers focus on budget effectiveness and efficiency in developing a country-specific plan to improve the standards of frontline health services and the impact of government investments in health. Harvard faculty, together with regional partners, work with select countries participating in the MLIH to facilitate further development and implementation of these plans.