Action-Based Costing for National Action Plans for Health Security: Accelerating Progress Toward the International Health Regulations (2005)

Health Secur. 2020 Jan;18(S1):S53-S63. doi: 10.1089/hs.2019.0063.


Multiple costing tools have been developed to understand the resources required to build and sustain implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR), including a detailed costing tool developed by WHO ("WHO Costing Tool") and 2 action-based costing tools, Georgetown University's IHR Costing Tool and CDC's Priority Actions Costing Tool (PACT). The relative performance of these tools is unknown. Nigeria costed its National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) using the WHO Costing Tool. We conducted a desktop review, using the other tools to compare the cost estimates generated using different costing approaches. Technical working groups developed activity plans and estimated component costs using the WHO Costing Tool during a weeklong workshop with approximately 60 participants from various ministries, departments, and federal agencies. We retrospectively applied the IHR Costing Tool and PACT to generate rapid cost estimates required to achieve a Joint External Evaluation (JEE) score of "demonstrated capacity" (level 4). The tools generated similar activities for implementation. Cost estimates varied based on the anticipated procurement and human resources requirements and by the level of implementation (eg, health facility-level versus local government area-level procurement). The desktop IHR Costing Tool and PACT tools required approximately 2 and 8 person-hours to complete, respectively. A strategic costing approach, wherein governments select from a menu of recommended and costed actions following the JEE to develop a NAPHS, could accelerate implementation of plans. Major cost drivers, including procurement and human resources, should be prioritized based on anticipated resource availability and countries' priorities.

Keywords: Economic issues; International Health Regulations (2005); Public health preparedness/response.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Global Health
  • Government Agencies / economics
  • Health Policy / economics*
  • Humans
  • International Health Regulations / economics*
  • Nigeria
  • Program Development / economics
  • Program Development / methods
  • Public Health / economics*
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • World Health Organization