On 12-13 March 2020, ministry of health representatives, private practitioners, researchers, professors, trainers and members of associations representing persons with lived experience of mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities were led by WHO staff in the development of a programme design for the Special Initiative for Mental Health in Ukraine. Over the two days, the group of 25 people developed a draft logical framework, including goal, outcomes, outputs, activities, indicators and guidance on each actor’s responsibilities within the framework.
Since then the world has changed significantly and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to hold face-to-face workshops in other Special Initiative countries. Despite this, some of the countries participating in the Special Initiative have been able to continue with planning activities.
Paraguay, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe are now leading remote workshops and consultations to further the development of costed design plans, with Bangladesh to follow soon. Jordan is currently awaiting further details of travel restrictions before deciding whether to work on design processes remotely or in face-to-face meetings. The outcome of this work will be fully-costed design documents for each country outlining goals, outcomes, outputs, activities, indicators and timelines specific to their context. These will be used to engage more partners in each country and support resource mobilization efforts at local, regional and global levels.