IRCM development process
The IRCM has been established through a participatory and multi-disciplinary process. Initial consultations carried out with specialized technical organizations namely Food and Agricultural organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) and the African Union's Directorate for Social Affairs (responsible for Public Health) under the leadership of AU-IBAR agreed on the concept and a roadmap for its development. A stock taking exercise at the REC level to identify existing coordination mechanisms, capacities and gaps and consult with stakeholders was agreed to inform the design and priorities process. A multi-disciplinary team representing all the partners was constituted with clear terms of reference to undertake the stock taking exercise. The stock taking exercise targeting all 8 AU recognized RECs, involved desk reviews and onsite visits to REC secretariats to discuss with various officials, experts and primary stakeholders. Individual REC reports detailing specific findings and recommendations were prepared. The IRCM strategic framework has been developed from the consolidation of these findings and proposals for addressing existing gaps.
IRCM strategic orientation
To realize its ambitious objectives the IRCM is aligned with relevant institutional strategies on agriculture and public health at continental and global levels. Specific effort has been made to ensure alignment the CAADP framework, Africa Health Strategy (2007-2013), AU-IBAR Strategic Plan, the NEDAP vision, the global One Health strategic framework, IDSR and IHR (2005) and the Global Framework for the control of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) to name a few. It also supports and aligns with the RECs efforts to promote regional integration and the free movement of people, goods and services. The IRCM also complies with the DECISION OF THE EIGHTH CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF ANIMAL RESOURCES Doc. EX.CL/590 (XVII).
The IRCM seeks to support capacity building and facilitate entrenchment of the coordination of TADs and Zoonoses prevention and control within the institutional structures and processes of the RECs and their Member States. This has the dual impact of ensuring the diseases remain in the limelight of REC political and technical leadership, and are accorded requisite priority as well as resources for action. It is conceived as a mechanism that aims to bring relevant actors together in a coordinated manner and to address capacity gaps that are likely to impend effective functionality through investment in capacity establishment and functional support to the relevant components and structures within animal and human health systems, as well as cross-cutting processes. This approach is warranted by the recognition that effective collaboration among the different health system components and stakeholders cannot be achieved if they individually lack capacity for effective functionality. Additionally, strengthening functional processes will support cross-sectoral linkages and collaborations, promote synergies and cooperation, timely information sharing, networking and sharing of capacities, processes and facilities, joint programming and promote increased stakeholder participation and ownership.
Operationalization of the IRCM strategy will build on existing structures and systems, while investing where gaps exist to ensure improved effectiveness and efficiency at national, regional and continental levels. The IRCM will thus, function as a medium term strategic framework for capacity building to assist RECs to converge towards coordinated approaches and procedures for the prevention and control TADs and Zoonoses. In line with the current global dispensation, supported interventions will seek to promote the One Health approach at national, regional, inter-regional and continental levels. Priorities will focus on leveraging inter-sectoral collaboration among the health domains, fostering evidence based decision making processes, enhancing capacity building, strengthening institutions and entrenching "whole system approaches" in addressing TADs and zoonoses challenges in Africa.
Implementation of the IRCM will involve the development of REC specific action plans to ensure regional priorities and specificities are accurately addressed.