OIE Sub-Regional Workshop on the PVS Pathway

The OIE Sub-Regional Workshop on the PVS Pathway was held in Bali, Indonesia from 28 to 30 April 2015 to bring together Veterinary Services (VS) representatives previously involved in PVS missions in their respective country to discuss the recent progress of their VS and future strategy for the OIE PVS Pathway in the sub-region. The workshop was organised by OIE Sub-Regional Representation for South-East Asia (SRR-SEA) under the Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases (STANDZ) project with funding support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It was attended by a total of 37 participants, including 10 nominated PVS “contact points” made up of three OIE Delegates and 16 VS representatives from 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as guest speakers from the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Emerging Infectious Diseases (AIP-EID), observers from the host country, and OIE staff from SRR-SEA, Regional Representation for Asia Pacific and Headquarters.

To date, many Southeast Asian countries have already undergone a PVS Evaluation and Gap Analysis Mission and are at the point of requesting a Follow-up mission or related PVS capacity building activity. The workshop provided an opportunity for countries to share their recent progress made in strengthening the fundamental components of the VS, as per recommendations from previous PVS Reports, as well as to illustrate the role of the PVS Pathway in facilitating this progress. Workshop participants discussed recommendations and considerations for the success of future OIE PVS Follow-up Missions and promote avenues of collaboration within the VS of the sub-region.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Pudjiatmoko, Director of Animal Health, Indonesia commended the OIE’s support in raising the compliance of Veterinary Services in the sub-region towards OIE standards through the PVS Pathway. He also remarked that he agreed with the OIE’s statement that good governance of animal health systems are based on close partnership between public/private partnerships and are the responsibility of all governments. Dr. Francois Caya, Head of the OIE Regional Activities Department, commented on the importance of having regular PVS workshops so that the impact of the PVS Pathway can be well illustrated and evaluated by the OIE, the national VS and donors.

The three-day workshop programme included five sessions: 1) Regional review of PVS Evaluations and Gap Analyses; 2) Country specific updates on the progress and outcomes in strengthening the Veterinary Services (VS) in relation to the OIE PVS Evaluation and Gap Analysis; 3) Ongoing and Novel OIE PVS Activities in ASEAN Member States; 4) Strengths and Gaps in the VS of ASEAN Member States; and 5) Strategies for Future OIE PVS Activities.

In preparation for the day one of the workshop, representatives from each country were asked to present some of the recent progress made in strengthening their national VS in relation to the fundamental components of the PVS Tool. These presentations clearly illustrated the progress of ASEAN Member States in improving the quality of VS in compliance to OIE Standards, while at the same time highlight the legislative and resource gaps that still also exist within many of these countries. These presentations also provided a platform for participants to share and better understand how the OIE PVS Pathway can support the development of their VS. For example, the country presentations highlighted how PVS Reports can be used by VS as an introspective tool to understand strengths and gaps within their own system so that they can better focus their energy and resources towards bridging identified shortcomings within the reports. Second to this were examples of the active uses of the PVS reports, which included using the reports to secure budgetary and funding requests from their ministries and international donors. In addition, the reports were also used to advocate for the VS by increasing the awareness of their public good functions within governments and society as a whole. Day two of the workshop provided an opportunity for participants to exchange approaches and strategies in bridging gaps of their VS in more detail. Day three of the workshop was dedicated to a discussion on how the OIE can improve the value of the PVS Pathway in their countries as well as recommendations on how to increase the communication and disseminations of the reports to the necessary parties.

As a whole, the discussions throughout the workshop were both fruitful and productive as they allowed countries to share their experiences in strengthening the VS, and the involvement of the PVS pathway in this progress. Some key recommendation and conclusions included the agreement that OIE should explore the possibility for OIE Delegates to nominate PVS “contact person” in each member country; and agreement that the OIE offer training workshops on the PVS Tool. Participants also agreed to take the PVS as an agenda to the forthcoming ASWGL meeting currently chaired by Thailand, and have more frequent PVS meetings in the sub-region. Finally, participants’ reinforced the importance of engaging donors in supporting the implementation of PVS recommendations in ASEAN Member Countries.