In-country implementation experience is a rich source of South–South learning and exchange on successful approaches to access and delivery. To help foster such dialogue, the ADP has facilitated opportunities for exchange and learning on integrated approaches to access and delivery, and capacity-strengthening in specific technical fields. These activities have brought together over 500 policy-makers, technical experts, academics and other stakeholders from more than 25 countries in Africa and Asia to foster South–South learning and collaboration.
Bringing together stakeholders from ADP focus countries to share implementation experiences has inspired collaborations between these countries, with the purpose of leveraging the experience of policy-makers and technical experts in a number of countries, particularly Thailand, on a range of issues, such as pricing and procurement methodologies, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and implementation research.
South –South capacity-strengthening in relation to conducting and institutionalizing the HTA approach has been facilitated between Indonesia’s Ministry of Health and the Thai Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Programme (HITAP); and between the Tanzania Pharmaceutical Services Unit and PRICELESS (South Africa). These bilateral examples are closely linked to the ADP’s work with global learning networks on priority-setting and HTA platforms, such as the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) and HTA International Asia, as well as the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Lessons learned from strengthening supply chain management of preventive chemotherapy against NTDs in Tanzania are also being applied in Ghana, with technical support provided by experts from the Tanzania NTD control programme. The transfer of knowledge and experience between these countries will allow for successes to be replicated, while avoiding pitfalls in supply chain management, which is key for the effective supply and distribution of medicines.
The ADP approach to facilitating South–South learning focuses on the policy, programmatic and technical issues that are common challenges across various health systems. Drawing on the vast technical information, experience and lessons gained from in-country activities, the ADP has generated knowledge for universal adaptability and applicability, contributing to an expanded global repository of information, approaches and mechanisms.
Through the creation of regional forums and platforms, a range of ADP technical tools and good practices have been widely shared with other low- and middle-income countries, to provide policy guidance, strengthen capacity and enhance strategies on implementing good practice.
These regional platforms have also strengthened communication, collaboration and South–South technical and learning networks among high- level policy makers and technical experts across Asia and Africa. Members of these networks have been able to identify common priorities and needs, which promoted a more integrated approach towards decision making on matters impacting public health innovation and access to health technologies.
To increase awareness of the ADP’s approaches among global stakeholders, the ADP has established strategic partnerships with a broad range of regional and global organizations. In Africa, the ADP has collaborated with the African Union (AU) Commission, the East African Community Secretariat, iDSI, the INDEPTH network, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance, and the University of Cape Town; while in Asia, partnerships have been forged with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Non-Aligned Movement Centre for South–South Technical Cooperation, Management Sciences for Health, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The ADP has partnered with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) – the technical arm of the African Union (AU) – in the development of the AU Model Law for Medical Products Regulation. The Model Law provides a comprehensive framework to guide AU Member States in establishing an enabling regulatory environment to deliver quality, safe and efficacious health technologies to the African population. Given the need for robust regulatory frameworks and safety monitoring systems for the introduction of new health technologies, the Model Law will provide a means of enhancing capacities in the regulatory systems of countries in the region and enable speedier approval and introduction of new health technologies. The Model Law was adopted by AU Member States in January 2016.
The ADP has also helped to further strengthen national pharmacovigilance centres and disease control programmes through study placements and regional technical exchanges on safety monitoring. This included training on cohort event monitoring for adverse event surveillance of new medicines, carried out in partnership with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance based at the University of Ghana Medical School. The technical capacities developed for safety monitoring and pharmacovigilance will be crucial to facilitate the introduction of new health technologies.