Health financing

WHO Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage

The World Health Organization organises an Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for low- and middle-income countries annually. This one-week-long advanced training program is based on the Barcelona Course on Health Financing currently offered by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with materials developed to reflect the context of low and middle income countries globally.

Course content

The course is structured around the different elements of health financing policy and their role in improving health system performance, in particular progressing towards universal health coverage. Reaching households outside the formal sector is an important theme of the course, which is built around the following core topics:

  • Raising revenues – opportunities and constraints
  • Pooling health revenues – the cost of fragmentation
  • Purchasing – more health for the money through payment reforms
  • Designing a benefit package – equity, affordability and transparency
  • Health financing and public finance management – enabling implementation
  • Coordinating reform – aligning policy instruments with policy objectives

Target groups

The course is designed for policy makers, advisors and analysts in the health and social sectors, senior managers of service provider organizations and health insurance funds, and other relevant actors in government (e.g. finance ministries, Parliamentarians), the private sector and civil society. The focus is on policy and strategic decision making, rather than the details of how to implement reforms.

This is an advanced course and participants are expected to have extensive and relevant work experience and knowledge of health financing policy, and previous training in health systems and policy (e.g. participation in a Flagship Course). This course is currently delivered exclusively in English.


The faculty is comprised of a core training team of WHO staff together with leading international experts. High profile guest keynote speakers are also invited to address and discuss with participants; to date, keynote speakers have included Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Diane McIntyre, Chris Atim, Adam Wagstaff, Sarah Bennett, and Eduardo Gonzalez-Pier.


Dates and deadlines for the course will be posted on this webpage during the first quarter of each year. An open application process is followed in which interested candidates complete and submit the online application form. A Course Selection Committee then selects participants based on a number of criteria including the relevance of the applicant’s current position and work functions, evidence of previous training on health policy and/or systems strengthening, and English language ability. Teams from the same country representing different policy perspectives (e.g. health and finance) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Space on the course is limited to 50-60 participants in order to ensure the effectiveness of the training and hence not all applicants can be guaranteed a place.

Costs and registration fee

There is no tuition fee to attend the course. However, in order to secure attendance, accepted participants may be asked to pay a non-refundable Registration Fee.

Participants must cover the cost of travel, accommodation and subsistence. WHO covers all other costs related to the organization of the training course which includes course materials, coffee breaks and lunches on each of the five days of the course, plus an evening Dinner Reception.


Applicants are responsible for obtaining a visa if required. A formal invitation and visa support letter will be provided by WHO.


For further questions about the course please email: