BMJ Global Health (2020-09-01)

Global strategies and local implementation of health and health-related SDGs: lessons from consultation in countries across five regions

  • Sameen Siddiqi,
  • Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta,
  • Sara Causevic,
  • Peter Friberg,
  • Luis Huicho,
  • Wafa Aftab,
  • Roman Mogilevskii,
  • Fahad Javaid Siddiqui,
  • Johanna Lindgren-Garcia,
  • Anil Khamis,
  • Mashal Murad Shah

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 9


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Evidence on early achievements, challenges and opportunities would help low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) accelerate implementation of health and health-related sustainable development goals (HHSDGs). A series of country-specific and multicountry consultative meetings were conducted during 2018–2019 that involved 15 countries across five regions to determine the status of implementation of HHSDGs. Almost 120 representatives from health and non-health sectors participated. The assessment relied on a multidomain analytical framework drawing on existing public health policy frameworks. During the first 5 years of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) era, participating LMICs from South and Central Asia, East Africa and Latin America demonstrated growing political commitment to HHSDGs, with augmentation of multisectoral institutional arrangements, strengthening of monitoring systems and engagement of development partners. On the other hand, there has been limited involvement of civic society representatives and academia, relatively few capacity development initiatives were in place, a well-crafted communication strategy was missing, and there is limited evidence of additional domestic financing for implementing HHSDGs. While the momentum towards universal health coverage is notable, explicit linkages with non-health SDGs and integrated multisectoral implementation strategies are lacking. The study offers messages to LMICs that would allow for a full decade of accelerated implementation of HHSDGs, and points to the need for more implementation research in each domain and for testing interventions that are likely to work before scale-up.