Accountability and transparency in global health

PMNCH & Women Deliver (2013)

Authors: Jill Sheffield, CEO, Women Deliver and Carole Presern, Director, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Date of publication: 2013

Accelerating progress to 2015 and beyond: Closing the gaps in RMNCH

For nearly two decades, our work, as advocates for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, has been shaped by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Plan of Action. Now, the deadlines for both are fast approaching with a new development architecture looming on the horizon. We must take this opportunity to learn from the successes, and shortcomings, of previous work and to identify what remains to be done to close the gaps for women, children, and newborns around the world.

Looking back, we have made tremendous progress since the MDGs and the ICPD Plan of Action were developed. Maternal mortality has declined by nearly half since 1990. Child deaths have fallen in all regions of the world and are down by at least 50 percent in Eastern Asia, Northern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South-eastern Asia, and Western Asia.

There is strong support from the UN Secretary-General, through his launch of the Global Strategy on Women and Children’s Health in 2010 and the development of the Every Woman Every Child effort, to mobilize new partnerships and increase financial, policy and service delivery commitments. To date, more than 100 individual financial commitments have been made to advance the Global Strategy, which has totaled nearly $60 billion. Of this $60 billion, approximately $20 billion is considered new and additional money for women’s and children’s health and at least $10 billion (existing as well as “new and additional” money) has been disbursed since 2010.

There are more global initiatives and partnerships than ever before and a better understanding of solutions and roadblocks. These platforms, including The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and Women Deliver’s global conferences, have positioned reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health as top development priorities.

At the London Family Planning Summit in July 2012, $2.6 billion was raised to sustain current access to family planning services for 260 million girls and women around the world, and to reach 120 million more women by 2020. Other initiatives launched in 2012, such as the Child Survival Call to Action and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, show signs of global commitment, but also indicate that we still don’t have some of the basics in place for women and children.