1.3 Identify the team to lead 7-1-7 coordination
After completing the stakeholder mapping, the 7-1-7 champion(s) should guide the identification of a team to lead the coordination of 7-1-7 implementation. Though implementation will require involvement of staff in multiple teams spanning surveillance, investigation and response duties, it is most likely to progress if a single team is clearly assigned responsibility for the early steps, including stakeholder coordination. The 7-1-7 coordination team should expect to work with the champion(s) to conduct initial stakeholder discussions, identify roles and responsibilities, monitor implementation progress and engage in sustained stakeholder outreach and advocacy. Ideally, the implementing team should have responsibility for emergency preparedness and response and possess both adequate staff and the convening power to ensure implementation coordination and tracking of progress.
Stakeholder engagement and coordination structure in Uganda
Uganda initiated implementation of the 7-1-7 approach by first identifying a champion from the Ministry of Health through one-on-one engagements in different departments. The national public health emergency operations center (PHEOC) manager, a senior-level official well-positioned to influence preparedness and response activities, then championed introduction of the approach across ministries. Based on the recommendations of the champion, stakeholders working in the areas of coordination, data collection, performance improvement, national planning, and communications and advocacy were approached individually to gauge their interest. This paved the way for subsequent more formal stakeholder engagement and joint implementation planning.
The coordination of 7-1-7 implementation is now led by the PHEOC, which is responsible for national responses to higher-risk or geographically dispersed events. Implementation has subsequently been expanded to regional PHEOCs that coordinate responses to smaller and lower-risk events not requiring national support.
Global health security is only as strong as the weakest link.
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