Health systems’ analysis is not an exact science in the sense that it is not a case of calculating an indicator and comparing that to a target that is set in stone. Instead, the analysis rests on describing elements of the existing system and critically assessing this on the basis of a clear understanding of health financing policy, the objectives associated with UHC, and relevant comparisons with and lessons from other countries. The paper attempts to provide guidance on how this can be done by highlighting the key issues that should be considered and some of the specific questions that should be addressed. It is not intended to provide a strict chapter-bychapter outline for a system assessment, but instead to foster and guide a systematic approach to the analysis of the health financing system. The health financing country diagnostic is written for Ministries of Health, advisors and others actors responsible for developing and implementing health financing policies, and provides step-by-step guidance on how to undertake a situation analysis of a country’s health financing system. Topics considered include: key contextual factors that influence health financing policy and attainment of policy goals; overview of health expenditure patterns; review of health financing arrangements; analysis UHC goals and intermediate objectives; and overall assessment - priorities for health financing reform.