In 2008, following a two-year negotiation process, the Sixty-first WHO World Health Assembly debated the output of an inter-governmental working group and subsequently the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA) was adopted in resolution WHA61.21. The aim of the strategy is to promote new thinking on innovation and access to medicines and to secure an enhanced and sustainable basis for needs-driven essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries.
The overall purpose of the comprehensive evaluation was to assess the status of implementation of the eight elements of the global strategy:
(a) prioritizing research and development needs,
(b) promoting research and development,
(c) building and improving innovative capacity,
(d) transfer of technology,
(e) application and management of intellectual property to contribute to innovation and promote public health,
(f) improving delivery and access,
(g) promoting sustainable financing mechanisms, and
(h) establishing monitoring and reporting systems.
The scope of the evaluation covers the eight elements, 25 sub-elements and the 108 specific actions defined in the action plan over the period of 2008-2015, involving all 194 Member States. In doing so, the evaluation was expected to document achievements, gaps and remaining challenges and make recommendations on the way forward. It would also inform the overall programme review.
The evaluation methodology followed the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) norms and standards for evaluations and ethical guidelines and adhered to WHO cross-cutting strategies on gender, equity and human rights. The approach to the evaluation employed mixed methods, using both secondary and primary quantitative and qualitative data. It included three online surveys and 15 country case studies.