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Project Resource Tracking Report
Background and aims
1. Demand for clear and consistent tracking of funds through the health system - both foreign and
domestic - is growing among governments, external partners, and the public alike. Furthermore, external
aid for health is increasingly comes from private foundations, in addition to the traditional bilateral and
multilateral sources. The effective tracking of such resources is therefore an important policy issue for all
relevant stakeholders. Thus, the goal of this study is to better understand and analyse how developing
countries assess how financial resources for health are mobilised, managed and ultimately used.
2. Foreign assistance and other foreign resource flows can play an important role in financing health
care in many lower income countries (Table 1). For tracking, both national health expenditure accounts and
international aid statistics produce estimates of the flows of external resources into a country's health
system. However, to answer policy questions around financial sustainability and fungibility, it is vital to
understand and explain the linkages and differences between these various sets of statistics, and to
demonstrate how they can most effectively complement each other.
Table 1. External resources as a share of health spending
External resources as a
share of health spending
African Region
Region of the Americas
South-East Asia Region
European Region
Eastern Mediterranean Region
Western Pacific Region
Low income
Source. WHO World Health Statistics 2011
Health resource tracking
3. Health resource tracking refers to the various frameworks, methods, and data systems for
measuring and analysing the flow of resources into the health sector (Center for Global Development,
2007). Existing health resource tracking activities can generally be categorized into two groups:
international development assistance tracking and national health expenditure tracking (Powell-Jackson
and Mills, 2007). An understanding of the links between the two would provide a better picture of the flow
of financial assistance by country.
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Project Resource Tracking Report