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BRIEF July 24, 2020

IMPACT Health Project Improves Front Line Services in Papua New Guinea


Delivering health care service to a mother and her child in a rural province

Improving the services delivered in provincial areas of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is critical to meet the health needs of the communities, yet provincial health services are currently faced with complex funding arrangements, lack of transparency and delays in budget disbursement that mean the delivery of basic quality healthcare remains a challenge.

The US$30 million IMPACT Health project aims to address these challenges by increasing the quality and use of essential health services through direct province-level funding at Provincial Health Authorities. This improvement in the quality of services provided should promote greater access and community utilization helping PNG to ensure more people have health coverage in the remote provinces. The new project aims to address the quality and efficiency of health services being delivered in community health posts, health centers, and district hospitals across the country, with a focus on the frontline to ensure the project delivers improvements to the most urgent need.

The key components of the project are:

·       Service delivery readiness and community-based service delivery

·       Frontline service delivery performance

·       Project management

·       Contingent emergency response.


"This project comes at a critical time for Papua New Guinea’s health system."
Edith Kariko
World Bank Senior Health Specialist in PNG


IMPACT Health Project Improves Front Line Services in PNG

The project will initially be piloted in two PNG provinces—Enga and East New Britain—with the plan to expand to further provinces by the project’s third year. The project also includes additional funding (US$2 million) to support trial of innovations for community-level health service delivery in partnership with non-governmental organizations.

“This project comes at a critical time for Papua New Guinea’s health system. We hope this project will be able to provide necessary services to mothers, to babies and at the same time strengthen our health system where we can see the better results from this funding at the community level,” said Edith Kariko, World Bank Senior Health Specialist in PNG.

Critical to the project’s success will be the use of Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLI), a funding approach in which results need to be demonstrated before funding is released. The performance targets under the DLI modality is designed to address areas that strengthen health service delivery quality. The approach has been used globally in other World Bank projects, however it is a relatively new approach to health funding in PNG and the Pacific.

The combination of the new funding approach and working directly with health services in the provinces, aims to deliver significant, sustainable improvements in service delivery quality and utilization of health services in rural areas, where an estimated 80% of Papua New Guineans live.