The International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR ) are a landmark tool to improving the world’s ability to detect, assess, and report public health events. However, challenges remain for many LMIC to comply with the IHR (2005). In order to support WHO member states in complying with the IHR (2005), the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with PHP and George Washington University, developed the IHR (2005) costing tool to be used by the IHR National Focal Points and other national authorities that might be called upon to cost the implementation of the IHR plans and capacity development. This tool enables countries to assess implementation of IHR (2005) [ability to detect, report, assess and respond to Public Health Events of International Concern], determine the cost of actions to fulfill these gaps, and inform the country specific action plan to fulfill IHR (2005).
PHP collaborated with WHO and George Washington University to develop this gap assessment and costing tool through an iterative process with the IHR National Focal Points (NFPs) and associated national and international experts. A small working group defined a methodological framework for assessing gaps in IHR Implementation and the framework for generating country tailored cost estimates for fulfilling identified gaps. As part of the technical working group, PHP developed detailed actions to further define the attributes used IHR Monitoring framework for all core capacities, the four hazards and points of entry (PoE) in order to allow countries to further identify gaps and give direction when creating action plans to strengthen IHR implementation. PHP then piloted the tool in Chad and Bhutan.
The gap assessment and costing tool is to be used by the IHR NFPs and other national authorities that might be called upon to define gaps and cost the implementation of the IHR plans and capacity development. The end-users of the gap assessment and costing tool are therefore WHO Member States, and the primary target audience of the tool includes public health agencies and policymakers responsible for IHR implementation estimates and health economics. The tool, currently being piloted in Member States and further refined, is expected to provide countries with a standardized framework for estimating the costs of achieving and maintaining the minimum core capacities requirements; and generate estimates of costs needed to build and sustain IHR core capacities using a generic costing model that is applied at the country level and can be adapted to specific country contexts and existing capacities.