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September 23, 2021

Epidemic Preparedness Budget Advocacy Framework Unveiled at UNGA Side Event

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) has unveiled a framework to help political and civil society leaders build support for sustainable investments in epidemic preparedness in their countries.

The Budget Advocacy Framework for Increased and Sustained Epidemic Preparedness Investment was launched September 22 at an unofficial virtual side event of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Scroll down to watch recordings of this event.

“We developed the framework because we know that domestic financing is essential for strong, sustainable health systems that meet the needs of their people and are prepared for disease outbreaks,” said Yolonda Richardson, executive vice president of international programs at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. “We’ve found that national and local advocacy is key to building the public support and the government prioritization and buy-in to make this happen.”

The framework launch event featured a discussion of epidemic preparedness budget advocacy in Nigeria, where government and civil society advocates have been working together to make the case for epidemic preparedness funding, leading to new investments at the federal and Kano state levels.

“Global health security is everybody’s business,” said Dr. Priscilla Ibekwe, director of special duties at the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

NCDC is working to ensure “sizeable, sustainable, substantial funding for health security” in Nigeria, she added. “Together, we can do it!”

GHAI is supporting political and civil society leaders as they make the case for epidemic preparedness funding. GHAI partners include the Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL), Nigeria Health Watch and BudgIT.
“Public financing is very central in terms of making progress on universal health coverage and health security as well,” said Dr. Gafar Alawode, LISDEL’s Prevent Epidemics project director.

GHAI’s new budget advocacy framework has been informed by our strategic approach to policy change and systems strengthening, and in particular our support for successful, locally led campaigns to secure public commitments for public health funding in a variety of settings. (Read more about our work across different GHAI programs like prevent epidemics, maternity and reproductive health, and drowning prevention in Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Vietnam.)

“One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that this framework helps to create a supportive environment for change,” said Ann Danelski, an associate director of advocacy with GHAI who has overseen epidemic preparedness campaigns in Nigeria and Senegal.

The framework is designed to support countries’ efforts to step up their preparedness and fund core activities of national action plans for health security in line with the goals and objectives of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations.

It uses four steps to build political support and accountability for investments in epidemic preparedness.

  • Step one is planning the budget campaign: Conducting a political and legal landscape analysis and impact assessment to build the case for increased investments in epidemic preparedness, and planning the political strategy.
  • Step two is conducting the campaign: Working with technical experts to build civil society and academic sector coalitions, engage policymakers and generate media coverage and support for increased funding.
  • Step three is strengthening accountability: Tracking budget allocations and spending of increased resources to identify bottlenecks to spending, assessing and building capacity to increase accountability and promoting transparent disbursement and effective spending.
  • Step four is promoting budget sustainability: Conducting program impact evaluations, assessing budget needs for the next budget cycle, promoting different sources of funding and building demand to sustain and/or increase the investment to improve health indicators in the medium and long term.

View a downloadable version of GHAI’s Budget Advocacy Framework for Increased and Sustained Epidemic Preparedness Investment.

Watch the event