Social Health Protection Project

The Challenge

Helped the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to continue progress towards universal health coverage by supporting the expansion of the Health Equity Fund (HEF) system and other social health protection mechanisms throughout the country. Worked closely with the Cambodian Ministry of Health, collaborated with Australia’s aid agency, the World Bank, the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the national HEF system, which provides poor households with free access to public health services thereby creating more access to preventive care, increasing financial stability for those most at risk of a catastrophic health event, and decreasing the prevalence of serious illness.

Through this project, URC and its partners Buddhism for Health (BFH), Partnership for Better Health (PBH), the Open Institute (OI), and the Nossal Institute of Global Health at the University of Melbourne (Nossal) bring together extensive experience in strengthening and implementing HEFs in Cambodia, devising innovative local governance strategies for SHP, conducting research and evaluations to produce an empirical foundation for advancing SHP, and local capacity building in Cambodia and globally to meet these objectives.

TBD this needs a major edit and meta update!


  • Increasing national level capacity and accountability of government staff and institutions to steward and administer SHP mechanisms
  • Strengthening community oversight and civil society participation in the governance of SHP activities
  • Strengthening the effectiveness and transparency of targeting systems that identify poor households and qualify them for inclusion in the HEF system
  • Addressing the quality of care provided in public health facilities by using the purchasing power of the HEF system to leverage measured improvements in the services provided to the poor
  • Increasing access to health services by improved targeting of people living with HIV and most-at-risk populations and ensuring that SHP schemes cover all non-free HIV, sexually transmitted infection and TB services
  • Achieve and maintain universal coverage of at-risk populations with proven vector control and case management interventions, while promoting the testing of new tools and approaches
  • Strengthen the malaria surveillance system to comprehensively monitor progress and inform the deployment and targeting of appropriate responses and strategies
  • Enhance technical and operational capacity of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and other health service providers at all levels of service provision
  • Promote the involvement of communities, private healthcare providers, private companies and state-owned enterprises in malaria control and elimination initiatives


  • Worked closely with the Ministry of Health Department of Planning and Health Information (MOH/DPHI) to support the establishment of the interim National Social Health Protection Fund (NSHPF).
  • Drafted revisions to the interim “Standard Benefit Package and Provider Payment Mechanism for Health Equity Funds.” Following consultations with relevant MOH programs and JPIG partners, the revised draft of the document was submitted to the MOH in June.
  • On August 29, 2014, the MOH officially released the revised standard benefit package and provider payment mechanism under the signature of H.E. Professor Eng Huot with an effective date of September 1. All suggested elements in the draft sent forward in June were included in the final version.
  • Initiated the development of a behavior change communication plan for the HEF system, which is designed to address gaps in general understanding of HEF related targeting, eligibility, services covered, and the complaint system.
  • Worked with USAID Quality Health Services and USAID OPHE to draft a USAID Project Coordination Strategy for national and regional harmonization in six key areas:
    • Social Health Protection
    • Health Informatics
    • Tuberculosis
    • Nutrition & Water/Sanitation
    • Family Planning
    • Maternal/Newborn Health




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