The joint annual review and planning meeting of Reproductive, Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition of Programme Managers of WHO African Region met from 5-9 November 2018 in Kigali

The joint annual review and planning meeting of Reproductive, Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition of Programme Managers of WHO African Region took place from 5-6 November in Kigali. The meeting was followed by the joint meeting of WHO Ministries of Health, RMNHAH Managers, UN H6 Agencies and Partners under the theme “Improving Human Capital Across the Life Course” from 7-9 November 2018.


DAY 1
Following the opening remarks of the  Director of the Family and Reproductive Health Cluster in WHO Regional Office Dr Felicitas Zawaira (AFRO), Dr Triphonie Nkurunziza Regional Adviser, Making Pregnancy Safer, and Programme Area Coordinator Reproductive and Women’s Health  from the Regional Office in Brazzaville, reminded the main thematic that the meeting would focus on:  Transformation Agenda, GPW12, GPW13, Programme Budget (PB) 2020-21, the Country Support Plan (CSP) and Biennium 2020-21, all of which are a series of reform designed to change the organization’s way of working and insure WHO transformation at global  and regional level. Dr Geoffrey Bisoborwa Medical Officer, Family and Reproductive Health exposed AFRO’s Theory of Change, Ms. Awa Achu Samba, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer made a presentation about the GPW13 planning process. Team building exercises enriched the workshops.

In order for Country Offices of the African Region to successfully achieve all pre-cited overarching goals, the Regional Office in Africa (AFRO) will regularly collaborate with Country Offices. In the case country requests could not be handled at AFRO level, the Regional Office will systematically seek additional support from HQ in Geneva. This new collaborative approach is designed to facilitate the implementations of the Organization’s Transformation Agenda, put in place a new business model based on value for money, timely reporting, transparency, accountability and Keep Performance Indicators (KPIs). The Theory of Change will also help institutionalize mandatory staff training and mobility. The organization will also focus on creating a healthier workplace environment.

All organizational changes will be based on new operating models, new planning, new corporate practices, predictable funding and more investment cases that will give a precise description of the changes needed by a country with regards to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH). Ultimately, they will produce a prioritized set of investments required to achieve the results and identify priorities that will put the country on the path to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents over the long term and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other sources of organizational change will rely on having less inward policies, introducing UN Volunteers to support WHO cultural change and introduce new partnerships notably with NGOs.

Dr Zawaira, enumerated some  of the Organization's successes such as : involving new donating countries (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), optimized donor reporting, better transparency, more effective internal and external communications,  and it terms of media visibility the creation of the CNN Africa Health Journalism Award all of which will contribute to raise partners’, Member States’ and public interest and trust.

All organizational changes will be based on new operating models, new planning, new corporate practices, predictable funding and more investment cases that will give a precise description of the changes needed by a country with regards to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH). Ultimately, they will produce a prioritized set of investments required to achieve the results and identify priorities that will put the country on the path to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents over the long term and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Other sources of organizational change will rely on having less inward policies, introducing UN Volunteers to support WHO cultural change and introduce new partnerships notably with NGOs.

Regarding the  GPW13 implementation process and challenges, Country experiences were shared to participants notably from representatives of Mozambique, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Cameroon. In the case of Cameroon, the implementation process was based on the GPW13 framework, the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the national sector strategy for health and the Country Cooperation Strategy. WCO staff training was based on the Theory of Change, and selection of priorities were made in collaboration with the Cameroonian Ministry of Health, which then disseminated the GPW13 objectives and expected outcome in all ministries. Ten Strategic Result Notes (SRNs) were issued based on four outcomes, One Billion framework all produced in the national context.

As for the strategic priorities, these were discussed with technicians then validated by MOH. This methodology allowed development of a country specific multi-programme approach, a critical exercise that put the CO at the heart of the implementation strategy. Other countries like Burundi for example used a different approach based on global problems, they used nationally contextualized challenges such as, difficulties in having access to health services.

 

DAY 2
A presentation on the Country Support Plan (CSP) was presented to the participants, followed by the Programme Budget (PB) 2020-2021 by Ms. Awa Ach Samba and Dr Geoffrey Bisoborwa who explained how to use the GWP13 measurements. The presentations were followed by team building exercises grouped by African Regions with the assignement to review their own Country Support Plans.

As for the PB 2020-2021, discussions focused on the fact that Countries Offices should have already determined their CSP. and that the consolidated date of submission deadline was 15 December 2018. In terms  priorities, countries will have to develop their own Strategic Result Notes (SRNs) for each priority outcome, in order to assess to see if their respective WHO Country Office can efficiently support them. In case of need, the CO will be requested to consult the Regional Office  in Brazzaville that will review requests from all WCOs.

The group addressed the challenging planning and implementation of Global Goods (GG), that will be initiated at Headquarter and Regional level. Global Goods namely cover: norms and standards, data, research, multilateral global goods, secretariat function and innovation. The WHO GG platform is a pre-defined tool that will allow COs to have an accurate estimation of costs and will facilitate the updating of guidelines. Each Country Office should identify its priorities for 2020-2021. Secretariats will also have to define their response in terms of products and services, identify needed expertise and estimate costing. As for costing outputs, the PB 2020-21 should be completed by including emergencies and polio. Finally, regarding risk reporting, it was discussed that countries and other Budget Centers in the Regional Office should also include risk reporting results.

This first meeting was followed by the joint meeting of WHO Ministries of Health, RMNHAH Managers and UN H6 Agencies and Partners under the theme “Improving Human Capital Across the Life Course” which took place from 7-9 November 2018 at Hotel Grand Ubumwe.