Health System Strengthening

A health system consists of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is to improve health. IOM’s health assistance during a crisis response aims to support and reinforce a crisis-affected health systems. Crises can magnify pre-existing problems within a health system as well as create new ones, often previously hidden. Even during the most acute response to a crisis, health system strengthening (HSS) is the ultimate goal of IOM’s health programming.

The WHO Health System Building Blocks (HSBB) framework is used to monitor HSS through the identification of key inputs and immediate outcomes in the subsequent areas:

  1. Service Delivery
  2. Health Workforce
  3. Health Information
  4. Medical Products, Vaccines and Technologies
  5. Health Financing
  6. Leadership and Governance

Within IOM’s approach to strengthen health systems, Community is incorporated as a building block to highlight an important entry point for IOM’s accountability to affected populations. IOM considers all the building blocks at all stages of its health response to crisis situations. Direct service delivery and capacity building addresses all seven building blocks, whether activities are implemented by IOM directly or through the identification of partnerships.