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Together, we are accelerating progress toward global health security.

Infectious diseases move fast, and so must we. 

The 7-1-7 Alliance is soliciting proposals for operational research projects. Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest by February 16, 2024.

Digital Toolkit

All the tools you and your team need to start putting 7-1-7 to work, in one place.

We have resources for:

  • implementation
  • performance improvement
  • monitoring & evaluation
  • advocacy
  • making the case
  • more

Our Resource Library is updated regularly with new webinars, implementation tools, and more.

Global health security is only as strong as the weakest link.

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I want
  • important updates.
  • technical assistance.
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  • practical tools.
  • training materials.
  • actionable data.
  • a safer world.

Frequently asked questions

What is the 7-1-7 target and what can be achieved by adopting it?

The 7-1-7 target promotes early and effective action to contain infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats.1   Each country’s progress toward the 7-1-7 target makes it better prepared to prevent and stop epidemics, and makes the whole world safer from the next pandemic threat.   

The 7-1-7 target sets clear performance standards for three timeliness metrics: 

  • 7 days to detect a suspected disease outbreak;  
  • 1 day to notify relevant public health authorities; 
  • 7 days to complete early response actions.  

The 7-1-7 approach uses these timeliness metrics to clearly assess and rapidly improve how early detection and response systems are performing in real-world situations.  

When a country consistently meets 7-1-7 performance standards, early detection and response systems are performing optimally to contain outbreaks before they spread. Ongoing use of the 7-1-7 approach allows countries to maintain and continue to improve their performance—the sooner threats are detected and contained, the more lives can be saved.  

Countries rapidly improve early detection and response when 7-1-7 standards aren’t met by quickly and systematically surfacing bottlenecks to timely and effective action. Once identified, many bottlenecks can be easily addressed, and progress on those requiring longer-term efforts can be accelerated by using 7-1-7 data to prioritize action and advocate for necessary resources.  

A toolkit for using 7-1-7 is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.  

How can we use the 7-1-7 target to improve health security? 

The 7-1-7 target is not going to address everything required for epidemic preparedness. Rather, the 7-1-7 target promotes early and effective action during outbreaks and rapid quality improvement for detection and response systems.  

There are four main uses of the 7-1-7 target: 

  • Performance improvement: Delays and bottlenecks are easily identified and quantified, and remedial actions are taken to drive rapid improvement; 
  • Prioritization for action and financing: Data on real-world system performance informs prioritization of available and needed financing (complementing the JEE and SPAR); 
  • Communications and advocacy: When presented with clear data based on simple metrics, political leaders and donors can easily visualize resource and policy needs—and see how their investments are making an impact; 
  • Accountability and reporting: Evaluating performance against simple metrics simplifies monitoring and improves transparency in reporting, making it easier to demonstrate the impact of interventions. 

A toolkit for using 7-1-7 is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.  

How does the 7-1-7 approach support the achievement of other targets?   

Timeliness has been increasingly recognized as an important factor in improving system performance for early detection and response to public health emergencies.

The 7-1-7 target is aligned with the WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work and Triple Billion target for Health Emergencies Protection, which created a new global metric for the timely detection, notification and response to public health threats.

It also contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3, specifically target 3.3, which aims to end epidemics of communicable diseases and strengthen country capacity for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

The Pandemic Fund, which provides grant financing for projects that seek to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response functions, also included the 7-1-7 Approach in its results framework  

The 7-1-7 target offers a complementary approach and proposes a simplified way of assessing how well health security systems detect and respond to disease outbreaks in real-world conditions and real time. It helps countries gather reliable data for immediate decision-making to improve overall co-ordination and performance and prioritize their use of existing resources and future funding needs.

How does the 7-1-7 target work with existing monitoring and evaluation frameworks for preparedness?  

More than a decade has passed since the revised International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) were established to ensure global security and help countries build the capacities needed to detect and respond to public health emergencies.  Still, as the global experience with COVID-19 made clear, too many countries were not adequately prepared for a pandemic, even when they seemed prepared on paper.    

Capacity assessments are often abstract, time-consuming and resource intensive. Reviewing real-world performance using 7-1-7 takes just a few hours and delivers immediately actionable data. It’s a quick but comprehensive evaluation of how well detection and response systems are working, using a systems approach focused on quickly identifying bottlenecks and enablers to timely performance. Detection and response systems can then be rapidly improved, using real-world data on performance to prioritize activities and resources where they’re needed most.  

In many settings, effective implementation of National Action Plans for Health Security (NAPHS)—a planning process for implementing core capacities in the IHR (2005)—has been handicapped by lack of prioritization. Integrating the 7-1-7 approach into the NAPHS process identifies focal areas for performance improvement and helps define a more feasible number and order of priorities per IHR technical area for both implementation and funding. 

The 7-1-7 approach complements existing preparedness assessments under the IHR, including the State Parties Self-Assessment Annual Reporting (SPAR) and Joint External Evaluation (JEE) tools, by evaluating the efficacy of outbreak detection and early response systems under the pressure of real-world conditions. It enhances After-Action Reviews (and Inter-Action Reviews) by providing clear performance targets and a simple way to check performance from the very start of a public health event—not months after the fact.  It can also support monitoring and evaluation of the performance of surveillance systems and strategies for integrated disease surveillance and response.  

How can health officials use 7-1-7 target data to improve their responses to disease outbreaks? 

The 7-1-7 approach is designed to rapidly identify bottlenecks in early detection and response systems and help governments define solutions to address them. These solutions may be inexpensive and quick to implement—such as workflow and coordination improvements—or long-term systems investments that should be prioritized in national planning efforts including NAPHS operational and strategic plans. 

In some countries using the 7-1-7 approach, funding for early responses has been identified as a bottleneck. 7-1-7 performance data can be used to advocate for solutions to the lack of resources for early response, such as setting up a revolving fund for access to emergency funding (which has been shown to be effective in decreasing early response time). 

In Uganda, health officials have used data from the 7-1-7 approach (in combination with data from other components of the IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework) to inform prioritization of activities in the national operational plan to improve epidemic preparedness. Using the 7-1-7 approach, officials recognized that lack of community awareness had resulted in delayed detection of certain priority diseases, such as anthrax and viral haemorrhagic fever.  The 2023 Annual Operational Plan prioritizes development and distribution of community educational materials for these specific diseases. 

A toolkit for using 7-1-7 is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.  

What needs to be done once a country decides to adopt 7-1-7?  

Using the 7-1-7 approach is not resource-intensive. For most countries, the first steps are to meet with high-level decision-makers and conduct workshops to introduce the 7-1-7 approach in detail to stakeholders including those working in the areas of coordination, data collection, performance improvement, national planning, and communications and advocacy. Many successful workshops have included retrospective reviews of recent outbreak responses using the 7-1-7 approach—a useful way of demonstrating the value-add of the 7-1-7 target.   

Start-up activities include initial staff training; adjustments to data collection and monitoring systems to include timeliness data; and identification of a meeting where stakeholders can convene to review 7-1-7 performance after identification of an outbreak, discuss bottlenecks and take remedial actions to improve the response. Most pilot countries have also employed a dedicated staff-person to support the first year of implementation, with responsibilities including developing an implementation plan, updating guidance, convening stakeholders, and consolidating 7-1-7 performance data. Once these initial steps have been completed, the workload decreases, and ongoing 7-1-7 implementation may not require full-time dedicated staff. 

A toolkit for using 7-1-7 is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.  

Where has the 7-1-7 approach been piloted? What have early results shown?  

The 7-1-7 approach has been piloted in Brazil, several counties in the U.S, four African countries (Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda), and is in early stages in another three African countries.  

Funds for three of the pilot projects were donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with other funding provided by Resolve to Save Lives.  

Preliminary findings have shown that the 7-1-7 target is feasible across high, middle and low-income countries and improves health security system performance. Using the 7-1-7 approach helps identify problems and bottlenecks that have been missed in other evaluations, many of which can be rectified in real time for little or no cost.   

To date, the most common bottleneck identified in the outbreak detection stage has been low levels of awareness/clinical suspicion by frontline health workers, followed by delays in laboratory confirmation. Other common bottlenecks include failure to report events to relevant authorities, lack of access to the resources needed for initiation of a rapid response, and low supply of medicines, vaccines and personal protective equipment. 

What is the 7-1-7 Alliance? Who is involved? 

The 7-1-7 Alliance is a country-led partnership that will accelerate and support achievement of the 7-1-7 target and help countries meet their obligations under the International Health Regulations (2005). It is open to national, regional and local governments, public health and research institutions, multilateral agencies, civil society organizations, and donors and foundations. 

Its main activities will include: 

  • Providing ongoing technical assistance for performance improvement; 
  • Offering small grants to establish 7-1-7 in daily workflows and to build needed capacities as identified through functional assessments by countries and localities;  
  • Engaging partners in communities of practice and regional learning networks to strengthen implementation, disseminate lessons learned and further refine the 7-1-7 approach; 
  • Developing resources and creating an online hub with guidance, tools and training materials to support implementation; 
  • Establishing a common monitoring and evaluation agenda to improve planning and implementation processes and inform donor funding priorities.   

A secretariat for the 7-1-7 Alliance will be hosted by Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) for an initial five-year period. The Alliance will also benefit from the strategic advice of a Technical Steering Group composed of country representatives, multilateral partners and technical experts. 

When can I apply for funding or technical support from 7-1-7 Alliance? 

The 7-1-7 Alliance has begun to formally welcome partners and will begin to accept new grant applications later this year.  In the interim, we’ll be hosting webinars, sharing lessons learned from pilots and consulting with partners on Alliance principles.  

To stay informed as the 7-1-7 Alliance evolves, please sign up for our email distribution list.

For help adopting 7-1-7 today, email us at contact@717alliance.org.

In the first weeks of COVID-19, the world sat and waited. We failed to put in place the measures needed to rapidly contain the outbreak. The 7-1-7 target can change this. We urgently need systems that enable early detection and response to pandemic threats in days, not weeks or months.

The Right Honourable Helen Clark, Co-Chair, Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response

In agreeing to champion the 7-1-7 target, I hope to inspire countries around the world to accelerate action to prevent future epidemics. In Uganda, the 7-1-7 approach has shown that early intervention can transform the impact of disease outbreaks, and bottlenecks can often be rectified for little or no cost.

Dr. Issa Makumbi, inaugural Chair, Technical Steering Group, 7-1-7 Alliance and Director, Public Health Emergency Operations Center, Ministry of Health Uganda

The 7-1-7 target supports countries to act quickly and assess and improve their own effectiveness finding and stopping outbreaks. If we learn from COVID-19 and implement targets such as 7-1-7, the world will be better prepared for the next health threat.

Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives

COVID-19 has shown we must do much more to promote and protect people’s health. As an international community, we need to take on the challenge of achieving the 7-1-7 target and make sure that the devastating consequences of pandemics are a thing of the past.

Peggy Hamburg, Chair, RTSL US Board of Directors

The 7-1-7 target is clear, simple and ambitious. It highlights the value of sustained investment in communities where outbreaks begin, and lays the foundation of an approach that can help us contain future epidemics.

Dr. John Oladejo, Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Department, Nigeria Centre For Disease Control and Prevention

Like many other countries, Zambia faces challenges in the early detection and management of infectious disease outbreaks. The 7-1-7 target offers a hands-on approach that can help fix these. We are excited about working and learning together with others in the 7-1-7 Alliance.

Professor Nathan Kapata, Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Zambia National Public Health Institute

7-1-7 Alliance Members

Pakistan
South Sudan
Cambodia
Zambia
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
Nigeria
The Republic of Uganda Ministry of Health
Uganda
Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Ethiopia

7-1-7 Alliance on Linkedin

Ready to become a member of the 7-1-7 Alliance? Submit an Expression of Interest to contact@717alliance.org to get started.

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Program Secretariat

Global health security is only as strong as the weakest link.

Sign up for our newsletter and stay updated on the latest from the 7-1-7 Alliance community of practice.

I want
  • important updates.
  • technical assistance.
  • case studies.
  • funding.
  • expert guidance.
  • practical tools.
  • training materials.
  • actionable data.
  • a safer world.