Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS)

Decision support for UHC: Zanzibar, Malawi, Ethiopia


Investing in health in low-income countries – particularly through priority interventions in primary health care, intersectoral policies, and fair financing through expanded access to health insurance and prepaid care – will not only save lives but also help reduce inequity and alleviate poverty. Making fair choices on the path to UHC and achieving SDGs.  

Vision: Improved priority setting aiming for the greatest number of healthy life years for all, fairly distributed, with financial risk protection. 


BCEPS aims to develop and provide methods, evidence and normative guidance for ethically acceptable, fair, and efficient priority setting for improved population health and wellbeing in national health systems. BCEPS will provide decision support to countries for fair and efficient priority setting – on the path to Universal Health Coverage, for public health, and for intersectoral action – in partial fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

BCEPS will expand its work on Disease Control Priorities in Ethiopia, with support from the newly established Addis Center for Ethics and Priority Setting (ACEPS), to Zanzibar and Malawi. BCEPS will provide capacity strengthening and help define and implement a highest priority package for NCDs and injuries in Zanzibar and an essential surgery package in Malawi. In all activities, we will monitor impact on three outcomes: health, equity, and financial risk protection.

GOAL: Improved efficiency, equity, and financial risk protection of health sector performance in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Zanzibar on their path to UHC

Expected outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Establish and support in-country capacity to define essential health benefit packages in the three countries 
  • Outcome 2: Support the definition of health benefit packages and follow implementation in the three countries
  • Outcome 3: Enhance global knowledge and guidance on progressive realization of UHC in resource poor settings 


BCEPS will be located at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen. ACEPS, located at the University of Addis Ababa, will be our key partner and act as a regional hub for knowledge exchange in East Africa, Norwegian partners include Center for International Health, Christian Michelsen Institute, FAIR (NHH/Norwegian School of Economics), and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. International collaborating partners include Harvard University, University of Washington, University of California San Francisco, University of Addis Ababa, The World Health Organization, The World Bank, and Ministries of Health in Malawi, Zanzibar and Ethiopia.