Monitoring pro-poor health policies at the regional level is essential for both countries and the regional bodies themselves, by identifying the issues related to the policy guidelines, the approach to health or information flows, as well as understanding implementation mechanisms of health policies at the local level. In order to address poverty and health problems, and strengthen ties between regional organizations and member countries, it is essential to generate mechanisms to track accountability to commitments and exchange of information to support the monitoring and evaluation of activities. Since its creation, UNASUR through the South American Health Council (CSS) has invested political and human resources in the area of health. The Five Year Plan 2010-2015 of the CSS, despite a number of pending activities, is the demonstration of this commitment. Added to this are the new activities the CSS gradually developed, which complement the work of the Council, such as their incursions in global health diplomacy. However, policy directions are still guided by the original values and principles included in the 2010-2015 health work plan. The “Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration” (PRARI) project presents an opportunity to generate a monitoring system that is based on existing needs in the region and supports the link between the countries and UNASUR, as well as UNASUR’s position at the global level. The aim of the PRARI project is to support the development of a monitoring system in collaboration with key stakeholders in the region. The focus will be the actions of the CSS in key policy areas such as primary health care, pharmaceutical policies and surveillance systems. Global processes such as those pertaining to the incoming sustainable development goals (SDGs) will also be considered. In order for this indicator-based monitoring system to be effective and have an impact, it requires ‘regional ownership’ and the active participation of regional and national experts throughout the process of indicator development, implementation and evaluation. Furthermore, institutional support from UNASUR and its Member States, the main beneficiaries of this process, is critical for the monitoring system to be fully operational.
Amaya, A.B.; Cabral, C.; Coitiño, A.; De Lombaerde, P.; Faria, M.; Belen Herrero, M.; Kingah, S.; Riggirozzi, P.; Rojas Mattos, M.; Pippo, T.; Tobar, K.; Ueleres, J. Monitoring Pro-Poor Health-Policy Success in UNASUR. Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (2015) 5 pp. [PRARI Policy Brief No 6]