Scoping Study On the Readiness of Uganda to roll out Health and Health Related Sustainable Development Goals

Date of Publication: 
September 2017

This report is about the status of Health and Health related SDG implementation in Uganda and the extent to which Health Policy Think Tanks (HPTT) are involved in implementation. It provides an overview of the institutional and coordination structures for implementation of the SDGs. It also identifies key stakeholders like health and Health think tanks that can play a key role in the rolling out of Health SDGs.

“Think Tanks” are Policy Research Institutions with a key role to play in fast-tracking the improvement of lives of people especially in Africa, by producing high-quality research data required to address health policy challenges. A high-quality research evidence base is essential for informing the health policy shifts required to move towards the sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030. The first days of SDG implementation are critical. The initial actions taken jointly by all stakeholders in society - including public agencies, civil society and the private sector - will set the foundation for success or failure in the years to come. To this end, the first 1,000 dayswindow of SDG implementation has been identified as the critical window for action for “Starting Strong”. The potential of think tanks to contribute to “Starting Strong’ - and to continuing strong - is however constrained by a variety of factors in Africa, including national governance context, and the limited available support to build think tank’s capacities and to ensure their sustainability.

The first of the regional “Think Health Initiative” consultations was focused on eastern and southern Africa. It was held in Kampala, and hosted by ACHEST. Some of the questions that were initially addressed at that consultation, and which will be explored more profoundly through this pilot project, include:
• How is the global SDG agenda being mainstreamed into national planning documents, priorities, and processes in selected East African countries?
• What are the implications of the SDG agenda for Health Policy research and Health Systems reforms in the country where we work?
• What roles have policy-research institutions played to date in SDG implementation, advocacy, and/or monitoring in selected East African countries? Specifically, in health-related SDG implementation?
• What niches are Think Tanks productively occupying as we move forwards on Agenda 2030?

The Kampala consultation produced a Communique [9] which articulated the following “way forward” for East and Southern African policy research institutions working in support of the SDGs:
1. At the National level, cross sectoral work is the priority for achieving the SDGs. This approach provides health think tanks with many entry points for contributing to SDG implementation. In each country, the health think tanks should get together with their governments and assign themselves niches for work to take forward in synergy.

2. At the Regional level the health Think Tanks would like to continue to work together and bring others for collaboration through a regional network. This will initiate
the establishment of an Africa Regional Network of Health Think Tanks supporting implementation of SDG in the region. This Network of African Health Think Tanks will therefore have a common interest of taking “health outcomes as a centre-stage objective”, for supporting SDG implementation.

3. At the Global level, the African Region Health Think Tanks and their network, will aim to link with other Institutions from the world, engaged on similar streams of work
for learning from each other, building capacity through mutual support, and collaboration.

The study findings should contribute to the future design of follow on interventions.

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