News and Opinions  –  2021

3 ways the new WHO costing & budgeting tool supports AMR National Action Plan work

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A survey on the currently developed National Action Plans on AMR highlighted suboptimal financing plans and lack of resources.On October 13, the World Health Organization therefore launched a new tool to help guide the development and implementation of National Action Plans on AMR.

This article looks at three areas of added value of this new tool. The new WHO tool can also be accessed through the ReAct toolbox - a repository intended to support governments to develop and implement National Action Plans on AMR. 

Photo: Shutterstock

6 years after the adoption of the Global Action Plan on AMR back in 2015, a recent WHO analysis estimated that only around 40% of the 145 countries that developed a NAP, had a budgeted operational plan, and even less (just around 20%) were in fact fully funded. This lack of financing of implementation and action at national level showed the need for a tool that could guide countries towards costing and budgeting their AMR activities.

This should be done for example by:

  • quantifying and prioritizing AMR-related activities
  • identifying the available resources and the financial gaps
  • advocating for additional funding, and
  • developing multi-stakeholder partnerships
Part of cover of WHO AMR Costing and Budgeting Tool. Credits: WHO

Learn more about and visit the new WHO AMR Costing and Budgeting Tool

1. Improving use of resources

The tool is not only intended to support budgeting unfunded activities, it is also designed to help identify national and/or international financing that might already cover or be relevant for AMR activities. Such analysis may be particularly important for countries with health budgets hit hard by responding to covid19. The User Guide of the costing and budgeting tool is intended to make it possible to identify AMR-related financial gaps already at a planning stage. This should help to avoid overlaps between multiple (and sometime scarce) resources. As of now, Indonesia and Turkey have participated in the scoping phase of the project and four countries were engaged in the pilot phase (Jamaica, Paraguay, Sierra Leone and Somalia). One of the countries reported “The WHO costing and budgeting tool will be useful for sharing information across sectors and improving coordination of resource allocation and use“. However, piloting, experience sharing, and feedback from more countries and different governance models will be important in identifying potential shortcomings and/or broader application of the tool.

2. Taking a realistic approach

One of the key points of the tool is to turn plans into action and support countries in moving from plans on paper to actual implementation.

“One of the lessons learned from the pilot studies is when developing a National Action Plan on AMR, it is crucial to be less aspirational and more realistic”.

Stated by the WHO Program Officer Dr. Alessandro Patriarchi during the inauguration webinar of the tool.

By quantifying activities and mapping related costs, the costing and budgeting tool intends to help the avoidance of unexpected overheads and mid-term deadlocks during implementation of National Action Plans. According to the feedback from the case study countries, the tool was perceived as being comprehensive, pragmatic and user-friendly toward this end. More specifically, both Turkey and Indonesia found that the development of a detailed implementation plan (for example by costing main- as well as sub-activities) was conducive towards a realistic and specific costing process.

3. Encourages multi-lateral collaborations

In order to achieve “One Health” collaboration on National Action Plans development and implementation, multiple ministries as well as relevant stakeholders across sectors are called on to collaborate throughout the budgeting process. Feedback from countries noted that “Development of a costed plan leads to greater multi-sectoral stakeholder involvement”  and that  “…The costing exercise was viewed as a significant step in bringing sectors together to join efforts in addressing AMR”. As such it seems that the costing and budgeting tool may be useful in facilitating the dialogue between the relevant parties, and strengthen “One-health” efforts and collaboration.

Concluding, the WHO Costing and Budgeting tool has the potential to guide countries in developing a detailed and realistic NAP, optimizing the use of the resources and addressing the financial gaps. The latter represents one of the useful resources available within ReAct Toolbox, a repository on antibiotic resistance that includes all relevant tools for developing and/or implementing your country’s National Action Plan on AMR.

Logo for the ReAct Toolbox with grey world map

ReAct Toolbox: All you need to know – National Action Plans on AMR

If you are looking for additional tools to develop or implement your country’s National Action Plan on AMR – the ReAct Toolbox might be a useful resource.

Policy section – develop and implement a National Action Plan on AMR

For example, the policy section in the ReAct Toolbox contains tools to help develop and implement a National Action Plan on AMR – this in a 5-step approach:

  1. engage stakeholders
  2. access the situation
  3. finalizing the plan
  4. elements of a plan
  5. evaluate progress

You also find guidance on implementation of specific elements that are often part of a National Action Plan – including links to tools on surveillance, stewardship and infection prevention & control.

More about the ReAct Toolbox – six focus areas for action on antibiotic resistance

The ReAct Toolbox is a repository on antibiotic resistance that includes six focus areas:

Understand antibiotic resistance

Raise awareness

Measure – how to generate data

Rational use of antibiotics

Prevent infection

Policy work

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