An Integrity Perspective on the Decentralization of the Health Sector in Colombia


  • Gloria Molina Universidad de Antioquia



mixed methods, qualitative study, quantitative study, health sector reform, institutional development, community participation, Colombia


This study analyzes the decentralization of the health sector in Colombia by exploring the characteristics of Institutional Development and Community Participation and their relationship with the socio-economic conditions of Colombian municipalities, as well as the administrative and political issues that affect the implementation processes at the municipal level. The analysis is framed in the context of health sector reform, and decentralization is understood as a public policy which interacts strongly with the political, social, economic and administrative environments. The methodology involves qualitative and quantitative methods; three case studies and a survey of 91 municipalities were carried out. The findings from different sources and methods suggest that the level of progress in the health sector is not consistent with the socio-economic categories in which the municipalities have been classified. This is closely related to the quality of the staff working within the health sector, which is, in turn, connected with the patronage system and the political will of the municipal, regional and national governments. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs090256


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Author Biography

Gloria Molina, Universidad de Antioquia

Gloria MOLINA is Associate Professor at the National School of Public Health at the University of Antioquia. Dr. MOLINA holds a M.B.A. in Public Services and a PhD in Health Services Management from the University of Birmingham, England; a Degree in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in the Sociology of Education from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. Her research interest include: health system and health policy analysis, mixed research methods, qualitative and quantitative approaches. Her most recent publications focus on the decentralization and reform of the health sector in Colombia.




How to Cite

Molina, G. (2009). An Integrity Perspective on the Decentralization of the Health Sector in Colombia. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(2).