As economies grow from low- to middle-income and countries improve health outcomes, they are expected to transition away from health aid—external sources of health sector funding. It is a complex and challenging process. If mismanaged, the potential for backsliding (i.e., disease resurgence and reversal of health gains) is sizeable.

To help middle-income countries manage their transitions to domestically funded health systems, in recent years, various transition readiness assessment tools (TRAs) have been developed. TRAs can be used to determine: (1) whether a country is ready to graduate from donor support; (2) how transition will affect various aspects of the health, economic, and political system of the country; (3) where donor funds may need to be spent to bring a country closer to being transition-ready; and (4) whether the country’s progress will be sustained after transition from donor aid.

To understand the benefits and limitations of TRAs, we analyzed existing tools to provide insight into the current landscape of TRAs and opportunities for guiding transition planning and supporting the sustainability of health programs and systems.

All eight health-sector TRAs were introduced after 2015, suggesting that there is growing demand for transition planning support and assessment instruments. TRAs have helped the transition planning and preparedness process in several ways.

Read the full article about healthcare transition readiness assessment tools by Wenhui Mao, Kaci Kennedy McDade, Heather Hille, and Mackenzie Zepeda at Brookings.