The Global Initiative is initiating a series of pilots on each continent, and welcomes the contribution of the regional pilots that have already started in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is understood that not all regions can initiate such a pilot immediately. Regional pilots in 2004/2005 drew on experiences and first lessons learned through ongoing indicator efforts in other regions.
Regional pilots are presumed to take on a fair degree of autonomy while contributing to global children’s environmental health reporting under a common framework. The participation of three or more countries per region is desirable. It would be best if participating countries within a region agreed to a common set of priority areas for indicator collection. However, in emphasizing the needs of countries and an approach that aims to be decentralized as much as possible, we propose that WHO Regional and Country Offices, as well as their UNICEF counterparts, assume responsibility for working with countries and partners actively involved at the regional and country level to design and implement pilot projects, once countries have volunteered to participate in a regional indicators pilot.
Countries play a key role in each step of this process, from their commitment to participate in the effort to the implementation of indicator collection and reporting, to translating results into action to protect children’s environmental health. Establishing strong links with the public health systems in each country will be essential, as these are usually influential in relation to surveillance activities.