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Quality Criteria for Health National Adaptation Plans


A Health National Adaptation Plan (HNAP) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a plan developed by a country’s Ministry of Health as part of the NAP process. HNAP development is critical for: ensuring prioritization of action to address the health impacts of climate change at all levels of planning; linking the health sector to national and international climate change agendas, including an increased emphasis on health cobenefits of mitigation and adaptation actions in other sectors; promoting and facilitating coordinated and inclusive climate change and health planning among health stakeholders at different levels of government and across health- determining sectors; and enhancing health sector access to climate funding. The HNAP outlines actions to build climate-resilient health and climate-resilient health systems that can anticipate, absorb and transform in a changing climate to protect population health while improving the management of other health threats.

The WHO has published a guidance for developing the HNAP describing the principles and fundamental concepts of the national health adaptation planning process, critical elements of health adaptation to climate change, and steps in developing the plan. The WHO HNAP guidance aligns with the technical guidelines to formulate and implement NAPs developed by the LDC expert group (LEG). Additionally, the WHO developed the Operational framework for building climate resilient health systems, which guides countries in developing a systematic and comprehensive approach to addressing the health impacts of climate change. A flexible and context-specific approach that is country-driven and -owned is encouraged. The HNAP should be based on the best available evidence and be comprehensive in its coverage of relevant climate-sensitive health risks and of the proposed actions to strengthen health resilience. It should include a feasible implementation plan with specific timeframes, roles and responsibilities for each adaptation action, and a monitoring and evaluation plan that incorporates opportunities for regular HNAP revisions and updates. The process and final plan should also maximize synergies across sectors, particularly health-determining sectors, and promote cross-sectoral collaboration and cooperation for health.

 The Quality Criteria for Health National Adaptation Plans (HNAPs) presents examples of good practice in HNAP development to assist countries in developing a comprehensive, feasible and implementable plan. The criteria are also intended to guide countries in setting the foundation for a long-term iterative HNAP process. The proposed criteria are not prescriptive and should be adapted to dynamic country contexts, uncertain and changing climatic conditions, and new knowledge and technologies.

The quality criteria for HNAPs covers six topic areas:

  1. Leadership and enabling environment
  2. Cross-sectoral coordination and policy coherence
  3. Comprehensive coverage of climate-sensitive health risks
  4. Comprehensive coverage of adaptation options and actions
  5. Resourcing
  6. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Reference information

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jul 19 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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