Strengthening Aid Effectiveness in Belize, using Health as a Tracer Sector
At the initiative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Belize, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in that country convened a seminar on “Strengthening Aid Effectiveness in Belize, using Health as a Tracer Sector”, on 17 May 2010. The seminar aimed to facilitate the strengthening of national aid coordination mechanisms, with the goal of improving the impact of development aid in Belize. In line with international proposals, and given the multiple sources of aid to the health sector, it was suggested that Health be used as a Tracer Sector for this effort, based on the principles and tools developed through the International Health Partnership.
Ms. Lorraine Thompson, INCAP Advisor in the PAHO/WHO Belize office, chaired the seminar and welcomed 55 participants, including representatives from the Ministries of Health, Education, Human Development and Social Transformation, and Foreign Affairs; UN agencies; non-governmental agencies; community-based organizations; the diplomatic corps; and donor agencies. Dr. D. Beverley Barnett, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize, Dr. Peter Allen, CEO Ministry of Health, and Ms. Kristine Blokhus, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP, made welcoming and opening remarks.
Dr. Barnett noted that national ownership of the process is critical, and that the outcome of the meeting would provide a foundation for improving alignment of development aid with national priorities, and harmonization of technical cooperation and development support from the UNCT and other international partners. Ms. Blokhus summarized issues related to UN Reform and noted that improvements in aid effectiveness would facilitate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She noted that MDG 8, “Develop a global partnership for development” provided a critical framework for the seminar.
Subsequent presentations by Ms. Marilyn Entwistle, PAHO/WHO Belize Health Systems and Services Advisor; Mr. Gert Danielsen, UNDP Aid Effectiveness and South-South Cooperation Specialist, and panel presentations by Dr. Peter Allen; Ms. Judith Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation; and Mr. Percy Lewis, Foreign Services Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted major concerns and needs. The participants agreed on the following recommendations for action:
1. Recognition of the Ministry of Economic Development as the most appropriate entity to spearhead the coordination and oversight of development aid in Belize, working with national as well as international partners.
2. Capacity assessment, and related capacity development, of key national entities regarding aid coordination and oversight.
3. Establishment of a system to track aid flow to the country, focusing initially on the health sector and building on current efforts.
4. Strengthening of coordination among development partner agencies in Belize.
The UNCT will continue to collaborate with national counterparts and partners in support of improvements in aid effectiveness in Belize; PAHO/WHO will collaborate with the lead coordination and oversight ministry and the Ministry of Health to support and monitor relevant efforts in Health.
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