2014 Partners' Forum

30 JUNE - 1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Plenary 4: Leveraging Investments for Health and Sustainable Development

Nyaradzayi Gumbonsvanda, General Secretary, Young Women’s Christian Association

The fourth plenary at the Partners’ Forum, “Leveraging Investments for Health and Sustainable Development” looked specifically at how to improve coordination with and between the different health-enhancing sectors.

The session started with a personal and moving story from the Chair Nyaradzayi Gumbonsvanda, General Secretary, Young Women’s Christian Association on how one of the young women in her village ended up dying at age 19 in childbirth due to the lack of electricity at the health facility, clean water, medications and access to proper transportation to the health facility. She stressed that we who work in the health sector need to understand that health is too important to leave to the health sector, and that we need to engage other sectors who impact health, and keep them accountable.

She was followed by Dr Julian Schweitzer, Principal, Results for Development who explained why involving sectors beyond, but related to health is core to place healthy women and children at the centre of the new development goals and to accelerate progress. Dr Schweitzer showcased studies from countries on the “fast track” to reaching the MDGs on women’s and children’s health. These countries show that 50% of improved outcomes for child mortality reductions across 142 low- and middle-income countries since 1990 have come from contributions outside of the health sector – including nutrition, girls’ education, water and sanitation, transportation and women’s empowerment, amongst others. However, achieving the necessary cross-sector coordination can be challenging, since governments, administrations and international agencies are often rigidly organized along sector lines.

Following these two addresses was a roundtable discussion with the panellists on their views and experiences on what has and has not worked well and what have been the successes and challenges of working across multiple sectors to improve health. The panellists included Lediana Mafuru Mng’ong’o, Member of Parliament, Tanzania, Gary Cohen, Executive Vice-President, Becton Dickinson, Anuradha Gupta, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GAVI, Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Peter McDermott, Executive Director for Health, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

The panellists called for stronger political commitment at the country level to keep more than the health sector accountable of providing access to quality health services. Mr Cohen told the audience that violence against children and particularly sexual violence against girls is a key example where interventions and programs outside of the health sector are required to overcome the negative health impacts of violence. Ms. Gupta stressed that countries need to look at the determinants behind the bad health outcomes, and get a clear understanding of why they occur before they start implementation.

The Panellist stressed the importance of countries removing bureaucratic barriers to be able to work across multiple sectors – including education, water supply, sanitation, nutrition, energy, roads and women’s empowerment – for good cross-sector planning and implementation to improve health outcomes.

  1. About the 2014 Partners’ Forum
  2. The 2014 Partners’ Forum begins: Now it is in our hands
  3. Plenary 1: Healthy women and children at the centre of development
  4. Session 1A: “Fast-track” countries share stories of success
  5. Session 1B: Building a Future Where Children Survive and Thrive
  6. Session 1C: Delivering Immunisation Together: Hitting the MDGs and health goals beyond 2015
  7. Session 1D: Every Mother, Every Newborn: Ensuring Quality of Care at Birth
  8. Plenary 2: Health: A model of Accountability for Post-2015
  9. Session 2A: Better data for better policy making, programming and accountability
  10. Session 2B: The Every Woman Every Child health model of accountability in the post 2015 era
  11. Session 2C: Accountability for RMNCH: The African perspective and prospects
  12. Session 2D: Countdown to 2015: Fulfilling the health agenda for women and children
  13. Session 2E: Addressing the Nutrition needs in a Post-2015 Agenda
  14. Plenary 3: Equity – leave no one behind
  15. Session 3A: Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality
  16. Session 3B: Bridging the Digital Divide: Making Mobile and ICTs a Reality for All
  17. Session 3C: Integrating services for HIV/AIDS and RMNCH to promote equitable access to quality care for women and children
  18. Session 3D: Universal Health Coverage and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Common Goals, Shared Challenges
  19. Session 3E: Equitable access to quality midwifery
  20. Plenary 4: Leveraging Investments for Health and Sustainable Development
  21. Session 4A: Scaling-up Innovations: New ways of dealing with unfinished business
  22. Session 4B: Investing in Adolescent and Youth as Agents of Change
  23. Session 4C: Mobilization of resources to RMNCH investments for reaching 2035 targets
  24. Session 4E: Getting It Right: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Family Planning in the Post-2015 Agenda
  25. Plenary 5: Our Common Vision – Delivering health and development for women and children beyond 2015
  26. Youth engagement at the 2014 Partners' Forum
  27. Private sector leaders reflect on post-2015 priorities and commitments to newborns
  28. World leaders: Women and children must be central to new 2030 global poverty goals