Friday, January 11, 2008

WHO-RBM Global Malaria Business Plan

Dear Colleagues

It would be wonderful if 2008 could be the year when very good performance metrics becomes the norm ... this is possible but this is unlikely.

WHO and Roll Back Malaria (RBM) and working on a Global Malaria Business Plan that aims to have the whole world using one approach.

From a management perspective the WHO-RBM approach seems to be the ultimate in "one size fits all" with a maximization of the risk of failure. It seems to be heavy in overhead and academic opinion and weak in data and responsiveness to operational realities. It seems to be building on a timeline that achieves too little over a period that is too long ... using a framework that has little or no management value. It seems to be creating another level of overhead and moving even further from the community where the work of mosquito and malaria control has to be done and the benefits delivered.

The Integrated Malaria Control Group (IMMC) in cooperation with The Tr-Ac-Net Organization has a very different approach. IMMC uses surveillance data and an operational plan for every individual area affected by malaria, with optimization being done for each individual situation. IMMC has developed a comprehensive cost effectiveness analysis system which uses best practice from the corporate world for cost accounting and performance metrics rather than the monitoring and evaluation and statistical methods favored by donors, the research establishment, NGOs and the relief and development organizations.

Using the IMMC approach, a community can move as fast as the situation allows ... and get results rapidly ... get benefits quickly ... and reduce intervention costs as soon as the situation stabilises at an improved level. The IMMC approach is likely to prove more than 10 times more cost effective that the WHO-RBM approach. This is a vast improvement over the prevailing practices.

What is possible is exciting ... but the majority of the fund flows for malaria control are currently committed to programs that have high costs and potentially limited benefits.

Sadly, because of the generally low quality of the data, it is difficult to show how expensive the current approach is going to be.

Peter Burgess
The Tr-Ac-Net Organization

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