Benchmarking is a strategic process often used by businesses and institutes to standardize performance in relation to best practices of their sector. World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners have developed a tool with a list of benchmarks and corresponding actions that can be applied to increase the performance of countries in emergency preparedness through the development and implementation of a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS). The
WHO Benchmarks for International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR/IHR (2005)) Capacities are broad in nature to improve IHR capacities for health security and integrate multisectoral concerns at subnational (local and regional/provincial) and national levels. This means that if all benchmarks are achieved and sustained, the level of preparedness of the country would be optimum to prevent, detect and respond to threats and events.

This document guides States Parties, partners, donors and international and national organizations on suggested actions needed to improve IHR capacities for health security. States Parties and other entities working to reduce the risk of global health threats can use these benchmarks and suggested actions to address gaps, including those identified by IHR monitoring and evaluation framework components such as the States Party self-assessment annual reporting tool, voluntary external evaluation such as the joint external evaluation (JEE), after-action reviews and simulation exercises. This document can help countries delineate the relevant steps they can take to reach capacity levels as defined in each benchmark.

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