24 February 2016

IHP+ and the sustainable development goals to reach universal health coverage.

Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage

Global agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was achieved in September 2015. Following this, the overall goal of IHP+’s work on effective development cooperation post-2015 will be to attain the health-related SDGs (replacing the health-related Millennium Development Goals). Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is the key SDG target as it is essential to the achievement of all health targets.

This renewed focus will be outlined in a preamble to the existing IHP+ Global Compact.

The SDG most relevant to health is SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The SDG target of achieving Universal Health Coverage is critical to ensure a comprehensive health systems-focused approach to achieve the health related -SDGs. 

Aligning for better results

For development partners that provide external support to countries, adhering to the principles of effective development cooperation is very important. In the health sector, committing and adhering to IHP+ principles can ensure that coordination and alignment takes place. It can strengthen country systems which maximises the efficient use of external resources but also, and much more importantly, domestic resources. All of this is critical for achieving UHC and the health-related SDGs.

Therefore, aligning for better results remains the cornerstone of IHP+’s work. Strengthening health systems jointly is a critical contribution towards ensuring that people and communities in developing countries receive the quality services they need without financial hardship and that they are protected from health threats.

Global call for better coordination

Globally, there has been a call for better coordination on the closely interrelated issues of health systems strengthening, UHC and improving health security. The leaders of Germany and Japan, as outgoing and current G7 presidents, have spearheaded this.

IHP+ is widely seen as being an excellent choice for taking forward the movement towards UHC and underpinning health systems strengthening. Consequently the possible transformation of IHP+ into a UHC 2030 Alliance is being discussed in several fora, including at the IHP+ Steering Committee meeting November 2015 and is the subject of discussion at a special IHP+ Steering Committee meeting in April 2016.

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