Policy Surveillance of Universal Health Coverage Financing in Developing Countries (2022-2023)


An important United Nations sustainable development goal target for health aims to “achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.” Following this declaration, significant resources have been invested in tracking countries’ progress toward the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). However, these efforts disproportionately focus on tracking implementation and outcome metrics without sufficient attention to the policy environment needed to achieve success. 

One reason for this is the lack of quality data on UHC policies for many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Solving this data problem will create opportunities for comparative cross-country analysis and longitudinal analysis to understand the impact of different policy experiments on UHC progress in different jurisdictions. 

Project Description

This project team will create a centralized source to track the evolution of UHC financing policy for LMICs over time. Building on the work of the 2021-2022 team, this project team will extend the policy surveillance process to 40 more countries. 

Policy surveillance addresses the chronic lack of readily accessible, nonpartisan information about status and trends in health legislation and policy. Team members will work with a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Duke Center for Policy Impact in Global Health and the Policy Surveillance Program of the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University to conduct policy surveillance on UHC financing in LMICs. The primary focus will be to collect, code, analyze and disseminate data on the evolution of UHC financing policies in LMICs. 

The goal is to provide information for researchers and policymakers about three main UHC financing components: resource generation; risk pooling; and strategic purchasing and payments. These components are aligned with the World Health Organization’s advisory to countries on strengthening health financing for UHC. 

Conducting research will typically involve literature review, drafting coding questions, collecting policy/law data, coding the policies and analyzing policies. 

Anticipated Outputs

Publicly available datasets; interactive web application; conference abstracts; short videos; peer-reviewed publication


Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

  • Fall 2022: Begin expansion of policy surveillance to 40 additional countries; begin development of four health financing videos; begin development of two student-led abstracts; complete new grant application
  • Spring 2023: Complete expansion of policy surveillance to 40 additional countries; complete development of four health financing videos; complete development of two student-led abstracts

See Data+ summer project, Policy Surveillance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries (2022), and earlier related team, Policy Surveillance of Financing for Universal Health Coverage (2021-2022). 


Image: Universal Health Coverage Day 2020, by Trinity Care Foundation, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

People outside a mobile health clinic.

Team Leaders

  • Ashwini Sunil Deshpande, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Osondu Ogbuoji, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Gavin Yamey, Duke Global Health Institute

/graduate Team Members

  • Judith Mwobobia, Global Health - MSc
  • Ei Swe, Global Health - MSc

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Theiija Balasubramanian
  • Kiara Ekeigwe, Biology (BS)
  • Yuxuan Hua, Political Science (AB)
  • Zain Jafar, Program II (AB)
  • Suresh Kannoth
  • Jurica Miklobusec
  • Ava Ondik
  • Michelle Schultze
  • You Wu, DKU Interdisciplinary Studies (BA)
  • Ana Young

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Ipchita Bharali, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Wenhui Mao, Duke Global Health Institute

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Policy Surveillance Program (PSP) of the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University, Beasley School of Law