Member States of the WHO working to build capacity under the International Health Regulations (IHR) are advised to develop prioritised, costed plans to implement improvements based on the results of voluntary external assessments. Defining the costs associated with capacity building under the IHR, however, has challenged nations, funders and supporting organisations. Most current efforts to develop costed national action plans involve long-term engagements that may take weeks or months to complete. While these efforts have value in and of themselves, there is an urgent need for a rapid-use tool to provide cost estimates regardless of the level of expertise of the personnel assigned to the task. In this paper, we describe a tool that can—in a matter of hours—provide country-level cost estimates for capacity building under the IHR. This paper also describes how the tool can be used in countries, as well as the challenges inherent in any costing process.
- health policies and all other topics
- health policy
- health systems
- public health
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Handling editor Seye Abimbola
Contributors RK conducted preliminary research that formed the basis for development of the tool. EG, JK and SE developed the online tool. RK, EG, JK and SE analysed and validated tool inputs. RK and EG drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to editing the manuscript. RK is the guarantor of the study.
Funding Initial research and tool development was supported by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency–Cooperative, Biological Engagement Program and the Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program. The conceptual framework was strengthened through collaboration with the World Health Organization and its technical partners. Current efforts were supported by Open Philanthropy Project and Georgetown University Medical Center.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement All data associated with this paper are available at ihrcosting.org