The United States has released guidelines for the development of the 2011-2015 country strategies for its $63 billion Global Health Initiative.
The strategies will be developed by U.S. government country teams, led by the ambassador or deputy chief of mission and a GHI planning lead, through a coordinated and inclusive planning process. Country strategies for announced GHI beneficiary countries are due December 2011, according to a document released by the U.S. government.
The U.S. government has identified eight initial GHI beneficiary countries in June 2010 and recently announced plans to name at least 12 more by 2013.
The guidance document stresses that GHI country strategies should be attuned with a recipient country’s own health goals and objectives and be responsive to the priorities identified in the country’s health policies and plans. It adds that the strategy should be made participatory and inclusive by engaging partner country counterparts, development partners, civil society and U.S. government field personnel.
“While such a process takes time, it is a visible demonstration of commitment to country ownership and improved partnerships and is likely to lead to a more complete and realistic strategy with better harmonization of program activities with other stakeholders,” the guidance document explains.
On identifying specific programs and projects, the document instructs U.S. government country teams to focus on shared investments and activities and identify opportunities for collaboration. Funding for new approaches under GHI country strategies should be determined using existing planning authorities and budgets of the U.S. Agency for International Development, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and President’s Malaria Initiative, the document adds.
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