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Improving country-level preparedness is an inherently difficult, complex, incremental process with no shortcuts. Rather than “filling gaps,” a more accurate metaphor is “traveling toward a destination.” Research shows that a country’s performance during an infectious disease outbreak is linked to its ability to partner across and beyond health stakeholders; coordinate at national and subnational levels with appropriate political leadership; engage communities; and continuously develop and strengthen health and public health system capacity to prevent and stop outbreaks.
Over the past five years, the governments of seven African countries in partnership with Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), have piloted different approaches to strengthening preparedness. This experience includes activities ranging from strengthening the program management capacity of government stakeholders to rolling out timeliness metrics to support rapid and continuous improvement and increased accountability. Five core recommendations have emerged from these efforts and can inform government, donor, partner and global approaches to strengthening country-level preparedness.
Learn more by downloading our full issue brief, “Strengthening Epidemic Preparedness at the Country Level,” or its accompanying two-page summary.