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About Us

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Heartfile is a non-profit NGO think tank with a focus on policy analysis and innovative solutions for improving health systems in Pakistan. Here at Heartfile, we seek to act with integrity, to be inclusive, and to work co-operatively while retaining our independence at all times.

Heartfile was established by Dr Sania Nishtar, Founder and President in 1998.

Our focus

Analysis and advocacy at the health policy and systems level: we focus on analyzing health systems’ policies and strengthening the evidence base of health reform. By offering evidence-based locally feasible solutions, we strive to catalyze change in the health system in order to improve healthcare quality and its access in developing countries. We also provide an independent voice for the protection and promotion of health.

Innovative solutions for improving health systems: we develop and deploy innovative solutions for health systems’ strengthening. The Heartfile Health Financing project and Heartfile’s work in non-communicable diseases is part of this approach. Heartfile Health Financing is an mHealth enabled social protection systems which enables financial access of the poorest of the poor to healthcare. As a “development initiative” it is Heartfile’s practical entry point to health reform, whereas as a “humanitarian initiative” it protects people from medical impoverishment, indebtedness and forgoing care altogether.

Vision

Our vision is a future in which the entire population of Pakistan has an equal opportunity to attain the highest possible level of health and well-being. In this future:

  • health policies will effectively address inequities in health
  • excess mortality, morbidity, and disability and care-givers burden– especially in poor and marginalized populations – will be reduced
  • risks to health that arise from environmental, economic, social and behavioural causes will be mitigated
  • health systems will be financially fair and will be designed to meet the specific needs within the context of health promotion as well as treatment, prevention and control of diseases

 

Values and principles

  • The good of the people comes first
  • Intellectual independence and voice
  • Neutral, equity-focused, and evidence-based orientation
  • Indigenous response to health issues
  • Robust and feasible scientific communication processes
  • Fostering collaboration and building consensus
  • Appropriate capacity and institutional strength for stated functions
  • Sustainability

 

Notable achievements

  • First health reform roadmap for Pakistan.
  • First NGO among the developing countries to lead the country-wide process of developing an integrated national plan for NCDs.
  • First compendium of health statistics of Pakistan.
  • Internationally endorsed innovative health financing program to protect the poor against catastrophic expenditures.
  • Groundbreaking public-private partnerships for health.

 

Objectives

  • To strengthen and catalyze change in health and other social sectors in Pakistan, to help develop and deploy solutions independently. This is done with domestic and international support, sponsors or partnerships to capitalize sharing of experiences, internationally.
  • To provide an independent and effective voice for the protection and promotion of the health and well-being of the country’s population; in doing so, to act with integrity, and while being inclusive and cooperative to retain intellectual independence.
  • To stimulate, assist in the development of, and monitor the development of health and other social policies; foster their implementation and catalyze change through technical and policy support.
  • To review and analyze health and other social policies and their implementation; offer evidence-based locally feasible solutions to address gaps; and assist in developing and deploying solutions.
  • To advocate and influence policy-makers in order to improve health and other social outcomes.
  • To play a technically supportive role for achieving the stated objectives.
  • To play a watchdog function by helping to promote accountability of decisions by educating citizens and the civil society in the dynamics of health and social policy and related cross-cutting issues.
  • To foster collaborative endeavors between stakeholders (both within and outside of the health sector and in any other sphere) in order to improve health and social outcomes and to help the civil society establish a role in setting priorities, making decisions and planning and implementing strategies for improving social conditions and health.
  • To provide a point of national contact for stakeholders within the health and social sectors for discussion and dialogue and an ongoing consultative mechanism
  • To found, establish, aid, assist, set up, manage, maintain, administer and run institutional arrangements and/or projects that can enable achieving better health and social outcomes.
  • To give aid and subsistence to those in need as and when it may be possible and feasible.
  • To undertake all activities and to do all lawful acts and deeds as in pursuance of any of the foregoing objects or ancillary to the same but always subject to the applicable requirements of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and the Income Tax Rules, 2002 (or any re-enactment, modification, amendment or re-promulgation thereof).

 

View Heartfile factsheet here.