More than two years into COVID-19 pandemic and compounded by overlapping global crises, the progress on the health-related SDGs is off track, according to a latest report.
The countries achieved about one-fourth of what is needed to achieve the SDG health targets by 2030, said the report Stronger collaboration for an equitable and resilient recovery towards the health related SDGs, incentivizing collaboration.
The 13 signatory agencies of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (SDG3. GAP) are behind the report. The report highlights the need for the SDG3 Global Action Plan, with its focus on improving collaboration to help accelerate SDG implementation by countries.
The report gives examples of how new more joined-up ways of working are having an impact on people’s health, and outlines ways to further improve this. For example through creating more incentives for agencies to work more closely together.
In the Foreword, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “the COVD-19 pandemic has set back country progress towards the health related targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Current progress is around one quarter what it should be if we are to reach the SDG health targets by 2030. One way to accelerate progress is through stronger collaboration. That is why SDG3 GAP is as important as ever as we jointly support countries to recover.”
The SDG3 GAP continues to limits work with global health initiatives to reduce fragmentation in the global health architecture. The aim is to make it easier for countries to coordinate with agencies, increase efficiencies and facilitate progress towards universal health coverage. For example, the SDG3 GAP has fully integrated H6/Every Woman Every child initiative and is working in countries such as the Republic of Congo, to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services, through strengthened coordination of technical and financial partners.
In an effort to align, the initiative has also built communities of practice in accelerator areas such as primary health care, with a strong focus on gender equality and equity. For example, agencies’ support to Pakistan through the primary health care and sustainable financing accelerators, has led to the piloting of a new essential package of health services, together with an investment case to enable long-term, sustainable scale-up of and more equitable access to health services, including by focusing on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, identified by the number of children who have not received one single dose of vaccine.
Signatory agencies have now addressed the six recommendations of the 2020 joint evaluability assessment of the SDG3 GAP, paving the way for an independent evaluation in 2023.
“SDCB CAP agencies have strengthened their collaboration on Primary Health Care and other areas in more than 50 countries. But to truly transform how we jointly support countries to recover to the SDGs will require stronger incentives for collaboration,” the WHO Chief said.
The new report cites four areas that have been piloted as effective approaches to incentivize collaboration: joint funding, joint monitoring, joint evaluation and joint governance”. The aim is to refine and scale them in 2022 and beyond.