On February 6, 2012, USAID/PHCPI and the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MoH) hosted the first meeting of the newly formed National Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The 16-member body has been assembled as a mechanism to ensure ongoing donor coordination and technical collaboration to promote quality improvement in primary health care (PHC) in Iraq. Current TAG members include representatives from a broad range of constituencies invested in PHC in Iraq. These include senior level officials from the MoH and the Ministry of Higher Education, the Iraqi Medical Syndicate, the Red Crescent, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID, and members of the PHCPI team.
USAID Technical Representative Stephen Herbaly remarked that the partnership established through TAG “utilizes the capacity, experiences, and potential of both the MoH as well as civil society organizations, and with enable USAID/PHCPI to work with various sectors and stakeholders to achieve the goals of the project.”
The establishment of TAG ensures that USAID/PHCPI has a platform from which to disseminate lessons learned from the PHCPI Improvement Collaboratives and to explore ways to scale up PHC improvements beyond the 360 clinics involved in the project. After the completion of the project, TAG can continue to monitor progress in PHC service delivery in Iraq and to make further evidence-based recommendations for quality improvement.
The next TAG meeting is scheduled to be held in mid-March 2012.