Day 5: Social Change Initiatives

Activity 13: Between now and Module 3 – The political economy of the NHI

Day 5: Social Change Initiatives

Activity 13: Between now and Module 3 – The political economy of the NHI

1 hour


To help us to:

  • Shape how we will approach our political economy inquiry into the NHI 
  • Understand our NHI assignment between Module 2 and 3
  • Be inspired by what Module 3 will offer our learning journeys

Task 1
Plenary: Beginning our political economy inquiry into South Africa’s NHI approach

(1 hour) 

You may remember that this module’s Framing Document mentioned a number of key topics that we were unable to introduce in the module given time and choice pressures (see Section H). One of the topics was the National Health Insurance (NHI) – South Africa’s proposed model for delivering Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – one option within a Universal Health Care frame. For this module, you will have seen that we prioritised skills for confident use of political economy analysis. Our rationale is that this confidence will allow you to use your enhanced political economy analysis skills from this week, to deepen your political economy critique of the unfolding NHI. 

To spark our grappling with the political economy of the NHI, we will be joined by someone who has walked the journey and is worrying about whether and how South Africa’s chosen model could achieve meaningful and substantive health equity. They will offer us a status update on the NHI legislation process, and will provoke us to question and consider if the South African version of UHC is not to simply to repackage the status quo of neoliberal health inequity in South Africa. 

Use your journal in this session. It is a time to listen and to note the questions that arise for you. It is a short session, so priority will be given at the end for questions of clarity. This session is designed to encourage us to grapple more with the idea of the NHI for South Africa. It is a taster for a dedicated weekend workshop or set of seminars/webinars, that we will have between Module 3 and 4. 

In preparation for the dedicated NHI gathering, you have two tasks by the deadline that we agree during this session: 

  1. Go through the resources provided below – the timeline, opinion piece and the set of references that include articles, legislation and videos
  2. Respond to the following questions in the form of a short paper submitted by the deadline that we will agree in this session: 
    • What about the NHI would like to know?
    • What would it look like? 
    • Who and when will it be done by?
    • What partners and resources would be needed?

We will close this session with a look at what we can look forward to in Module 3. 

We’ll also play a quick game to hold our connection as Fellows, while we head off into our work and worlds, until we meet again …