M Musumali, A Sikazwe, M Sibonde, JK Chime, F Masaninga, ML Mazaba, J Mufunda.
Background: WHO is going through reforms which started in 2011. The Reform process intensified when the WHO was put to the test during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Weaknesses observed raised widely expressed concern about the response of the WHO in emergencies. Dwindling financial resources and multiple partners interested in its mandate also largely contributed to WHO reforms. WHO African Region introduced the Transformation Agenda programme in 2015 designed to accelerate implementation of WHO reforms within Africa. This study documents progress made in the implementation of Transformation Agenda within the Zambian context with rationale to communicate effectively and share lessons with partners internal and external to the WHO.
Method: The task was undertaken through desk review and analysis of key documents including annual reports, quarterly performance reports, budget implementation reports, end of biennium reports, year 2015 external audit report and other related documents with an emphasis on practices, past performance and domestication of Transformation Agenda within Zambian context. Key informant interviews with relevant staff from WHO, Ministry of Health, other UN agencies and partners were done. Visits were also undertaken to all four zonal offices where WHO staff were strategically deployed in line with Transformation Agenda tenets.
Results: Focus was on 4 tenets of transformation agenda. Within framework of smart technical focus, WHO Zambia deployed staff to 4 zonal offices where they are mostly desired within framework of Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response and positioned strategic resources for activities. This has resulted in speedy confirmation and response to outbreaks. On pro-results values, WHO has enhanced leadership, managerial and technical skills improvement and Human Resource in house training. Regarding communicating effectively, WHO Zambia is reinforcing its external communication through publication of manuscripts online for easy electronic archiving and retrieval. Newsletters, Newsflashes, Annual reports are also being produced and widely disseminated. Collaboration with increasing number of partners has also been adopted as part of partnership. With responsive strategic operations, WHO Zambia adopted key performance indicators to measure performance.
Conclusion: WHO Zambia has domesticated Transformation Agenda which has resulted in early disease detection and response as well as effective communication internally and externally, accountability through enhanced internal controls and capacity building.