Global health agency leaders take steps towards a common set of health indicators
On April 10, 2014, global health agency leaders met informally for the fifth time at the World Bank Group Headquarters, USA. Leaders agreed on the need to significantly reduce the number of indicators at the country level, and largely supported a proposed framework with a limited set of core indicators that is common to all agencies. In the coming months, a working group will finalize this set of global core indicators and the leaders will reconvene in September 2014 to agree on next steps.
This fifth global health leaders meeting was co-chaired by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and WHO Director General Margaret Chan. Its purpose was to follow-up on efforts made since October 2013 by an inter-agency Working Group on Indicators and Reporting Burden, led by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, tasked with developing a rationalized measurement framework. The working group recommended that partners cut the excessive demands for number of indicators (600+) which burden countries whose monitoring systems are often already weak. It suggested a measurement framework with four key recommendations for development partners:
1. Use common, country-led platforms for results measurement and accountability, outlined by IHP+
2. Agree on a limited, common core set of indicators
3. Align reporting cycles of agencies
4. Coordinate investments in strengthening countries’ data systems and institutional capacity.
Global health agency leaders widely accepted the proposed framework. Moving forward, the working group will finalize the core set of indicators and explore recommendations made by leaders. Key recommendations include engaging the private sector, determining concretely how to operationalize the framework, linking the framework with the post-2015 agenda and other already existing initiatives, and – most importantly – involving countries in this agenda.
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