About the WHO Strategic Partnership for International Health Regulations (2005) and Health Security (SPH)

SPH and the IHR (2005)

The IHR (2005) requires all States Parties to detect, assess, report, and respond to potential public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC) at all levels of government, and to report such events rapidly to the WHO to determine whether a coordinated, global response is required. To develop baseline capacities of Member States, the WHA resolution “WHA 69.21” identified WHO’s critical convening role to facilitate strategic cooperation and partnership between and within States Parties along with regional and internationals partners, donors and networks. The SPH is designed specifically to foster these relationships.


In 2015, Member States, partners and donors mandated WHO to establish a Strategic Partnership Portal (SPP) to monitor the health security capacity of countries by helping them identify needs, gaps and priorities in national, provincial and local health security; by mapping and sharing information on global health security investment and resources; and by creating a platform for collaborating on global health security. 
In 2017, the SPP expanded from a one-stop information platform to a mechanism for collaboration and partnership and became the Strategic Partnership for Health Security (SPH).

The Strategic Partnership for Health Security was born out of the three overarching guiding principles of the IHR Monitoring Evaluation Framework (IHR MEF): country ownership; WHO leadership; and strong and robust partnerships. The IHR MEF provides a comprehensive portrait of countries’ capacities and functionalities in detecting, notifying and responding to public health emergencies. It uses Annual Reporting, voluntary Joint External Evaluations (JEEs), Simulation Exercises, and After Action Reviews (AAR) to assess operational readiness and contributes to the identification of strengths, gaps and priorities that are further addressed in National Action Plans for Health Security.

What we do: the four SPH pillars

The SPH actively coordinates, convenes, monitors and maintains collaboration to ensure that relevant information from countries, partners and donors is shared in a timely manner. The SPH provides opportunities for multi-sectoral partnerships, collaboration and capacity-strengthening through four pillars: Strategic Partnership Leadership, Strategic Partnership Networks, Strategic Partnership Forums, and Strategic Partnership Resources.

Pillar 1: Strategic Partnership Leadership (SPL) is a multi-stakeholder advisory group which provides leadership, guidance and oversight for SPH. It is comprised of partners, Member States and donors who review the work of the SPH and assess the progress of IHR implementation in countries. SPL optimizes Member State’s collective effort for IHR/health security collaboration through evidence-informed policies on national strategic approaches for multi-sectoral collaboration and partnership, contributing to progress with the acceleration of IHR (2005) implementation and health security at national, regional and global levels.
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Pillar 2: Strategic Partnership Networks (SPN) is a platform where Member States, partners and donors from many sectors and networks can share information and best practices and form collaborations to accelerate the implementation of IHR and increase health security at local, national and international levels. SPN supports strengthen multi-sectoral collaborations and partnerships so that Member State can advance IHR and health security capacity for effective public policy stewardship, governance and actions.
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Pillar 3: Strategic Partnership Resources (SPR) provides Member States, donors and partners with a wide array of country data and donor profiles, expert profiles, guidelines, tools, resource mapping, and other useful links. SPR encourages Member States, partners, and donors to share data on IHR implementation and health security and bridges the gaps and needs of countries and the priorities of partners and donors by facilitating the matching of technical and financial resources.
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Pillar 4: Strategic Partnership Forum (SPF) is a high-level forum that brings together Member States, multi-sectoral partners and donors to align investment priorities for the current and future IHR and health security needs and gaps. It facilitates convergence with other key strategic areas such as influenza, anti-microbial resistance (AMR), universal health coverage, Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and resilient and strengthened health systems. SPF is designed to foster relationships among global health security actors and to enhance collaboration and cooperation for health security.
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The WHO Strategic Partnership for Health Security unit is part of Country Health Emergency Preparedness & IHR (CPI) and is guided by the Strategic Partnership Leadership, a multi-stakeholder advisory group which provides leadership, guidance and oversight for SPH. It is comprised of partners, member states and donors who meet once a year to review the work of the SPH and assess the progress of IHR implementation in countries. Each of these meetings results in various actions, guidance, tools, and commitments to improve and manage future global public health risks.


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