UK Gov accepts ICAI advice to refresh global health security strategy

Ecorys has led a report on global health threats for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). In light of the Ebola crisis and the subsequent upscaling of global health threat response activity and spending, ICAI commissioned a review of the UK government’s aid response.

The report found that the UK government responded rapidly to address weaknesses in the international response system exposed by the Ebola crisis. Following the 2014-2016 crisis, a coherent and evidence-based framework for addressing global health threats was developed. This “Stronger, Smarter, Swifter” framework led to a “portfolio of relevant and often pioneering programmes and influencing activities” to help developing countries tackle disease outbreaks more effectively.

Now, a global health strategy should be developed from this framework, Ecorys found. This could then be published and communicated widely in order to encourage international alignment with the UK’s efforts. Whilst the UK has influenced reform in spheres such as the generation of global policy commitments to tackle antimicrobial resistance, there has been less success in areas such as encouraging investment in the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. The full report can be read online here.

The UK government responded to the report on 14th March, accepting recommendations to refresh the global health security strategy and to publish and share it: “We will make the refreshed framework available on the internet so that it can be accessed across government, and also by other donors, multilateral institutions and the public.”

An International Development Committee hearing into this review took place on 28th March and can be viewed here.