Action for Global Health welcomes today’s publication of the UK’s Global Health Framework, which signals renewed political support and ambitious aims for the UK’s work on global health. The cross-departmental implementation of the framework and alignment with other relevant strategies will create greater coherence in the UK’s work on global health. As we fast approach the 2030 deadline for Sustainable Development Goal 3 (healthy lives and wellbeing), and with conflating crises of COVID-19, climate change and conflict exacerbating health inequities globally, this framework is particularly timely.
However, whilst the framework sets out clear objectives for advancing global health, in the absence of additional funding or a monitoring framework, it is unclear how plans will be operationalised or progress evaluated.
The framework’s focus on Universal Health Coverage and strong health systems as the underpinning foundation for all four objectives is critical and must be translated into concrete, additional funding and a monitoring & evaluation framework with clear, measurable indicators focused on improving health equity. This will be particularly important given the number of departments involved in delivering the framework.
Given the short timeframe, we also call for a clear mechanism to be established for updating the framework at the end of 2024 and publishing a full global health strategy. Disappointingly there was no consultation for this framework, and therefore, the next iteration should involve a broad and open consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including people with lived experience of health inequities, civil society and communities based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and LMIC country governments. This process should produce a forward-looking strategy that considers and acts on the views and needs of communities and gives them ownership in delivering on key global health priorities.