A high-level peer-review process for future pandemic preparedness: practical lessons from the Universal Periodic Review.

Two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic began. Far from over, governments and international organizations have been trying to understand what approaches have proven effective in addressing the global health challenges associated with COVID-19, what measures were missing or needed to be strengthened to end the pandemic, and how to use this knowledge to prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

Among these reflections, one recommendation emerged from three reports developed by the International Health Regulations (IHR) Review Committee, the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response (IPPPR), and the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee (IAOC) and which were published and presented at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2021. This proposal concerns the establishment of a peer-review system whereby countries review and publish their health preparedness capacities.

In this context, the Multilateral Dialogue of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Geneva has invited UPR info to identify key lessons and considerations for the drafting of a Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR).

In this paper, UPR info aims to draw lessons from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to inform a proposal for a peer review mechanism anchored in the World Health Organization (WHO) and focusing on emergency preparedness and recovery. While keeping in mind that not all lessons are transferable from one policy area to another, this analysis can provide valuable insights for the development of a similar mechanism anchored in the WHO to strengthen pandemic preparedness.

A high-level voluntary review would add value through a global process of accountability and solidarity and would ensure that health emergency preparedness is addressed at the highest political level to strengthen the resilience of health systems.

Click here to read the report.