Put principles into practice

For aid to be effective, practical solutions are needed. The Paris Declaration is based on five pillars - ownership, alignment, harmonisation, mutual accountability and managing for results. IHP+ translates these concepts into something very tangible at the country level: mobilising well-coordinated support for one national health plan.

The IHP+ workplan ties together five action areas, to help make this happen:

  1. Support inclusive national planning processes 
  2. Jointly assess national health strategies and plans (JANS)
  3. Negotiate and agree country compacts or their equivalent
  4. Report on progress in a more unified way, based on one common results monitoring framework
  5. Ensure mutual accountability between all stakeholders.

IHP+ also provides small country grants, which are flexible funds to improve coordination and support the development and implementation of national strategies.

Catalyze change

IHP+ is not a new funding organization or a special project. It is an initiative trying to ensure that different stakeholders in national and global health are able to work together more effectively to make better use of resources, and by doing so help to accelerate improvements in health services and health outcomes. 
It catalyses change by:

  • keeping the global spotlight on progress with health aid coordination and results at country level
  • emphasizing country leadership in planning processes, and
  • developing tools to build confidence and commitment to support national health strategies and plans.

Countries decide on their priorities and can draw from the menu of activities supported through IHP+. There is no one blueprint for what countries do because they have joined IHP+.

At the IHP+ meeting in Nairobi, December 2012, participants identified a number of critical areas where international development partners need to change their behaviour in order to accelerate progress on the MDGs. These were first articulated in a message to leaders coming out of the Nairobi meeting. Recent meetings of global health leaders have strongly supported renewed action on these seven behaviours which, if implemented, would bring visible results.

Build confidence

Effective delivery of aid cannot happen without changing the way governments, development agencies, civil society organizations and others work together. In order to work most effectively, relationships between these stakeholders need to grow and strengthen so they can have confidence in supporting a single health strategy.

At global level, governments and development agencies sign a Global Compact to show their commitment to implementing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in the health sector, through stronger country partnerships. At country level, a wider range of stakeholders is involved including national civil society organizations. How partners work together in country and the relationships they choose to form in order to make progress is decided locally. 

Support civil society organizations (CSOs)

The role of civil society in IHP+ is very important. IHP+ is about encouraging relevant stakeholders to unite and participate in the planning and implementation of a strong national health strategy. Often, CSOs are unable to find a way to be heard in health policy discussions. Through IHP+, they are encouraged to participate in planning the national health strategy and monitoring its implementation. CSOs receive support from IHP+ in a variety of ways.

Create links between the country and the global level

If governments and development agencies are to change the ways they work together, a space is needed where stakeholders can frankly discuss difficult political and procedural issues. Some obstacles to change within a country require action at the global level. Through IHP+, developing country governments are finding new opportunities to elevate concerns when needed to the global level, and to discuss solutions. IHP+ is now the largest existing platform through which to discuss aid effectiveness in health.

Every two years, all IHP+ partners meet face-to-face to share experience with the progress they are making, and agree on action to be taken to overcome the challenges they face.

Benefits for partner countries

These include:

  • Stronger government leadership in sector planning and coordination
  • Better results through better use of existing funds to support national priorities and plans
  • More time for implementation through reduced duplication and transaction costs
  • Opportunities to share experience with other countries
  • Greater global attention to persistent local health aid problems