Capturing and sharing lessons learned

Since its inception in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has learned many valuable lessons, from both successes and setbacks, which have improved how the programme operates and brought the world to the cusp of polio eradication. These lessons, in the form of accumulated knowledge, best practices, innovations, processes, systems and ways of working, have the potential to benefit other health and development initiatives.

Capturing and sharing these lessons is an important part of transition planning. It will ensure that other programmes can learn from the experience of the polio programme by adopting or replicating these lessons to achieve broader health and development goals.

Important lessons have been learned in many challenging areas of health programme development, implementation and service delivery, including:

  • Reaching hard-to-reach populations
  • Reaching high-risk populations
  • Working in conflict zones
  • Harnessing global commitment to a cause
  • Engaging and mobilising communities
  • Cross-border cooperation –
  • Tracking and reaching migrant and nomadic populations
  • Gender empowerment

Each country and region has its own experience of eradicating polio, with local knowledge incorporated into the programme and contributing to its success. As part of the transition planning process, countries, are encouraged to analyse their experience with the programme, and document these lessons learned, with the support of GPEI.

GPEI support to countries for documentation and dissemination

Throughout the process, GPEI is providing guidance to countries to help capture these lessons, and encourage their adoption to build capacity of other health and development programmes at the country, regional and global levels

Resources and publications

Transition planning resource library

Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Lessons Learned and Legacy
Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2014

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Progress, Lessons Learned, And Polio Legacy Transition Planning
Health Affairs, 2016