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Support for governance relating to the prevention and control of animal diseases: the OIE takes another step forward

"The OIE's new strategies and actions regarding animal health governance in Member Countries have already resulted in significant progress being achieved at a world level in the prevention and control of animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans", stated OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat, today.

"These strategies were approved and supported by the international community at the Geneva, Beijing and Vienna conferences on the fight against avian influenza. They will be the subject of discussion, in particular concerning adjustments to their means of funding, at the Bamako Conference in Mali on 6, 7 and 8 December 2006 ", he added.

To date, the World Bank, Japan, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, France and Switzerland have subscribed to the Organisation's strategies and have contributed to the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, which finances actions in support of the governance of Veterinary Services of Member Countries.

The OIE pilots these programmes in collaboration with the other International Organisations involved, such as the World Bank, the FAO (principal partners), the WHO, the WTO and UNSIC. The main programme of the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund managed by the OIE is based on studying the compliance of Veterinary Services in developing countries and transition countries with OIE standards on quality and evaluation, democratically adopted by the Organisation's 167 Member Countries.

Implementation of evaluations: using the PVS

With the help of funding allocated by donors to the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, 40 experts have been trained by the OIE and its Collaborating Centre in Lyons, France, to carry out field missions intended for candidate countries, on a voluntary basis. Some of these experts are currently conducting the evaluation in 15 pilot countries on all five continents. The experts are all using the same methodology and the same evaluation tool, namely the "PVS" (Performance, Vision and Strategy), which, in each of the countries evaluated, identifies priorities for investments needed to comply with quality standards on the governance of the Veterinary Services adopted and published by the OIE.

Thanks to the analyses carried out based on the PVS, the governments of the countries concerned will have the information they need in order to make the appropriate political and budgetary choices and, where necessary, to prepare their applications for international funding. As an example, the World Bank uses the results of evaluations carried out with the PVS as the basis for orientating its funding to applicant countries seeking to improve their animal health governance.

"The OIE's aim is to evaluate 105 countries over a three-year period using the PVS instrument. The process of acquiring additional funding to finance the programme is well underway", noted Dr. Vallat.

In the light of the experience gained from carrying out the first evaluations, the OIE set up a group of experts from various parts of the world which recently put forward proposals for improving the instrument. As a result of this work, a new version of the PVS is now available on-line on the OIE Web site (http://www.oie.int/downld/PVSI_update_%202006.pdf) and will be used by the experts for existing and future evaluations. This version will be updated on a regular basis following comments of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission and of Member Countries. The experts will also be provided with a list of indicators and a Manual to ensure that the same methods are used wherever the PVS is applied. Furthermore, the OIE is organising a new training course for PVS experts, to take place in February 2007.

Support for national decision-makers in the public and private sector

The OIE's actions in support of governance also include regional capacity-building through seminars for national decision-makers and private sector representatives. With the financial support of the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, the number of seminars has doubled in the space of a year in all five continents.

These seminars are organised by the OIE's eight Regional and Sub-Regional Representations. They also form an essential component for improving the governance and harmonisation of disease control policies and plans are afoot to further increase their number, thanks to the resources arising form the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund.

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