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Coordination of health partnerships

The leading example for facilitating better alignment between existing multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen health systems in developing countries is the International Health Partnership Plus (IHP+). IHP+ partners include developing countries, donor countries and international agencies, such as the Global Fund and the Gavi Alliance. The 2014 (and latest available) IHP+ monitoring report found that development partners are increasingly aligning and continue to participate in accountability processes at country level. It also found that governments are improving financing and to some extent financial management of the health sector, but that there is stagnation or decline in use by development partners of national financial management systems and in predictability of their funding. IHP+ carried out a fifth monitoring round in 2016, with results for the 30 participating countries available on the IHP+ website. Main findings of the 2016 monitoring round will feed into the IHP+ Global Monitoring Report, together with other work streams such as the ongoing performance review of development partners.

With the adoption of the SDGs, IHP+ discussed how best the partnership can contribute to moving towards the health-related SDG. The Steering Committee and IHP+ signatories agreed to expand the scope of IHP+ to include health systems strengthening (HSS) towards the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). While work on improving effective development cooperation in countries receiving external assistance will continue, the focus will be on HSS and domestic spending in all countries. It was also agreed to broaden the base of the partnership to respond to the health-related SDGs because they are relevant for all countries.

In June 2016, the IHP+ Steering Committee agreed on the way forward in establishing the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 (or UHC 2030 in short). To mark the launch of the transformation, a multi-stakeholder consultation was organized in June 2016 to get a broader range of views on how to operationalize the objectives of UHC 2030, with over 100 participants from a whole range of constituencies.

During the same period, the G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health, the TICAD VI Declaration and the G7 Health Ministers’ Kobe Communique all expressed support for UHC 2030. The WHO Director General announced the establishment of UHC 2030 during a side event in the margins of UNGA hosted at the Rockefeller Foundation on 22 September 2016. Civil society undertook a consultation to inform how they will engage in UHC 2030, with a focus on advocacy and accountability for UHC.

The overall aim of UHC 2030 is to support a multi-stakeholder movement to accelerate equitable and sustainable progress towards UHC, including global health security. Its specific objectives are to improve coordination of HSS efforts at country and global levels, to facilitate accountability and to mobilise political will for UHC.

The UHC 2030 provides a unique opportunity to move forward the agenda on HSS, UHC, as well as health security. UHC 2030 reflects the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration for universal health coverage, offering a convening platform for a broader range of partners. UHC 2030 acknowledges the political nature of UHC reforms and the need to focus on who benefits and who is left behind on pathways to achieve UHC. UHC 2030 also carries forward the unfinished mandate of the IHP+ to improve effective development cooperation.

The UHC 2030 builds on existing networks or partnerships already active on health systems strengthening and Universal Health Coverage. The list is not exhaustive and could change as the formation of UHC 2030 evolves. It currently includes health systems existing networks (such as Health Data Collaborative, Global Health Workforce Network, Providing for Health, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Joint Learning Network for UHC), and related networks (such as Every Woman Every Child, Global Health Security Agenda, Non-Communicable Diseases Global Coordination Mechanisms, and others).

On 12-13th of December 2016, WHO organized the first UHC 2030 meeting in Geneva, bringing together different health system initiatives and partnerships. It is intended that this meeting become an annual UHC 2030 Forum around the UHC Day on 12 December. New members are invited to formally join the UHC 2030 by the time of the WHO World Health Assembly in May 2017.