Nepal | January 16, 2021

Global Action Plan: Roadmap to achieve health goals

Sharad Onta
Share Now:

Nepal recently decided, at the health ministry level, to pilot the Global Action Plan and has formed task forces and a working committee to develop a Country Action Plan for its implementation

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are seen as the key to changing human life for the better. As global resources get accumulated in a few corporate bodies in the neoliberal economy, SDGs are believed to bring equitable prosperity with justice. Despite the unfinished agendas of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in many developing countries, the international community is optimistic the SDGs are within our reach. From the window of health, the SDGs are the third edition of global commitment – after Health for All by 2000 and Millennium Development Goals by 2015 – to deliver health care to all. The attainment of the health goals is not merely to achieve SDG 3, they are instrumental in attaining the other SDGs as well.

Progress in health over the last few decades has been deeply cherished by the global community. While appreciating the achievements in improving the health indicators of billions of people, it is admitted that the pace of the progress is not fast enough to accomplish the SDG goals in health. Fragmentation, duplication and inefficiency have been identified as the underlying factors undermining progress. Unless efforts are amplified, there is a possibility of not even coming close to reaching many of the health-related targets.

Additionally, these achievements of global average are not even, and, thus, have visibly left a sector of the world population behind. Reaching the targets of SDG 3 cannot be imagined without equitable progress, which demands a healthcare system based on equity and justice.

In view of this, in response to the request from the Chancellor of Germany, President of Ghana and Prime Minister of Norway, a Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being has been initiated. The Global Action Plan (GAP), coordinated by the World Health Organisation, is said to be a historical commitment to act together to synergize the impacts of collective efforts to improve health. The signing partners of the Global Action Plan have committed themselves to align their approaches, finance, policies and methods; accelerate the progress by scaling up of actions in key cross-cutting areas of health; and account for bearing mutual responsibility to deliver results for the people.

The Global Action Plan has identified seven areas in health for accelerating the actions and broadening the range and scope of actions. It is presumed that each country will lead the collective efforts of all partners – government, multi and bilateral agencies, civil society organisation, professional organisations and academia – to develop its roadmap to achieve health-related SDG goals. The current signing partners of Global Action Plan are Gavi (Vaccine Alliance), Global Financing Facility, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, Unitaid, UN Women, World Bank Group and World Health Organisation. Some more have agreed to sign the plan.

A similar initiative was taken more than a decade back while launching the Global Compact under the banner of International Health Partnership (IHP) and then IHP+ based on the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aids Effectiveness. It was a global campaign to harmonise the donors and work on a common platform within the national priority and policy framework with mutual accountability to meet the health targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Many of the signing partners of today’s Global Action Plan remind the signatories of the IHP Global Compact. International Health Partnership initiative, launched with such enthusiasm, has now been pushed aside.

Concern about the fate of the Global Compact has not been reflected in the document. A serious search for the whereabouts of the Global Compact and exploring the obstacles on the path of its application is still due to the global community. Apparently, it is indispensable to analyse and learn from them for the successful implementation of the Global Action Plan.

Nepal was proud to be one of the two Asian countries in the first wave of the International Health Partnership; Cambodia was the other country participating. Nepal was praised a decade back for standing among the first countries to develop a National Compact – a document of agreement among the partners for common national policy framework, collective actions and mutual accountability. The National Compact, signed by several external development partners, is no more visible.

Nepal recently decided, at the health ministry level, to pilot the Global Action Plan and has formed task forces and a working committee to develop a Country Action Plan for its implementation. The country should take it as one more opportunity and move forward to lead the process with deep understanding of the global and national contexts and clear insights of the factors contributing to the failure of a similar initiative in the past.

However, Nepal should seriously consider the reality that it is now in the process of settling its internal policy and structural arrangements. Strengthening and stabilisation of the federal structure in health, existing policy, planning and strategic vision of the country to meet the SDGs should be positioned at the centre of action.

On the basis of the review of the current practice of alignment, the proposed alignment with the partners and mutual accountability should be framed to contribute to the ongoing national efforts.


A version of this article appears in print on July 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition makes successful attempt on Thursday

KATHMANDU: A team from Seven Summit Treks ‘First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition’ comprising Qatari climber Fahad Badar, Sherief Elabd from Eygpt and Nadhira Al Harthy from Oman have attempted Mt Ama Dablam (6812 m) on January 14. The winter ascent to Ama dablam consisted of at least 14 climbers w Read More...

Biden unveils $1.9T plan to stem COVID-19 and steady economy

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday to end “a crisis of deep human suffering” by speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help to those struggling with the pandemic’s prolonged economic fallout. Called the “American Read More...

Mobile data users abandoning Ncell for NT

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Mobile data users in the country are increasingly abandoning Ncell and subscribing state-owned Nepal Telecom. At least that is what the data compiled by Nepal Telecommunications Authority reveals. According to the Management Information System of NTA, 60 per cent of the t Read More...

Rival NCP factions hold standing committee meetings

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal held its Standing Committee meeting and discussed ways to effectively carry out its protest programme against dissolution of the House of Representatives. NCP (Dahal-Nepal) Spokesperson Naryan Ka Read More...

Security personnel of Khotang District Police Office destroy cannabis planted illegally by the locals in Durchim VDC of Khotang district on Monday, December 21, 2015. Photo: RSS

Cops intensify drive to destroy cannabis, opium plants

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Nepal Police destroyed cannabis and opium plants cultivated in a large swathe of land across the country in the fiscal year 2019-20, according to an annual report recently released by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to the report, cannabis plants being cultivated Read More...

WHO supports member countries to end COVID-19 pandemic

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Member countries in the World Health Organisation South-East Asia Region are gearing up for massive vaccination campaigns in a bid to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO South-East Asia Region has 11 member countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic o Read More...

Bhattarai calls for decisive agitation

DAMAULI, JANUARY 14 Janata Samaj Party-Nepal Federal Council Chairperson Baburam Bhattarai has stressed the need of a decisive struggle to protect democracy and the constitution. Accusing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of putting the constitution and democracy at risk by dissolving the Parliamen Read More...

Locals protest East-West Railway survey

BARA, JANUARY 14 The locals have protested a survey of the East-West Railway in Bara. The locals were up in arms after a survey was done affecting the main settlement in the bazaar area of Nijgadh Municipality. According to the survey team Incharge Suraj Poudel, the locals impeded the d Read More...