Countdown update fosters country accountability, supports Global Strategy

19 MARCH 2012 | COUNTDOWN 2015 - As follow-up to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, Countdown to 2015 has released a new report: Accountability for Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival: An update on progress in priority countries. The report includes updated profiles on high-burden priority countries, which account for over 95% of maternal and child deaths. Profiles highlight countries’ progress on increasing coverage of high-impact interventions that can save the lives of millions of women and children. The report will be launched at the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Kampala, Uganda from 31 March through 5 April 2012.

The core indicators included in these updated profiles, selected in 2011 by the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, encompass key elements of the reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) continuum of care. The report also includes a brief report providing a snapshot of progress on these core indicators across the priority countries, revealing promising news as well as challenges that still remain to be addressed.

Countdown to 2015 is contributing significantly to the global accountability agenda around the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, an unprecedented plan to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015, which was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2010.

Countdown’s key role in fostering accountability consists of:

  • Preparing Countdown profiles focused on the Commission’s indicators—the profiles published in this report will be updated every year with new data and results. Producing global-level analyses, reports, and cross-cutting research on coverage and its determinants;
  • Conducting special analyses to address accountability questions—Countdown research will inform the work of the independent Expert Review Group (iERG), appointed by the Secretary-General to report annually on progress in implementing the Commission’s recommendations regarding reporting, oversight, and accountability;
  • Supporting country-level Countdown processes that include national consultations, workshops, or publications utilizing Countdown data and methodological approaches—Countdown will publish a toolkit to assist countries in implementing their own Countdown processes later in 2012.

The country profiles in the new report, customized to showcase the Commission indicators, are adapted from the full, two-page Countdown country profile, which Countdown produces on a roughly two-year cycle.

Full country profiles will be included in Countdown’s 2012 Report, which will be published in June 2012.