2014 Partners' Forum
30 JUNE - 1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Session 2B: The Every Woman Every Child health model of accountability in the post 2015 era
This parallel session followed a very successful Plenary Session 2, which introduced the concept of accountability in women’s and children’s health and thus opened the discussion on this important issue at the Partners’ Forum.
The parallel session provided therefore an opportunity to dig deeper into the issues of accountability, with a focus on promoting the dialogue on how post-2015 accountability framework should be structured. The parallel session was chaired by Nana Taona Kuo (Senior Manager - Every Woman Every Child Team, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General). It was kicked off by a presentation from Peter Godwin, Independent Consultants, undertaking the Every Woman Every Child accountability review, on initial findings from this work.
The panel consisted of Diane Jacovella (Assistant Deputy Minster, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada), Kathleen Ferrier (Member, independent Expert Review group), Asteria Aritonang (Campaign Director, World Vision Indonesia), and Anita Sharma (Senior Director, Millennium Development Goals Initiatives, UN Foundation).
Peter Godwin’s presentation posed some provoking questions about what has worked and what may not have worked so well over the years in our efforts to account for promised made to women’s and children’s health. The presentation highlighted the strength of the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child (RMNCH) community, and the desire of the community to work together towards healthier women and children. At the same time, the global accountability structure has developed more akin to an evolving ‘ecology’ than an ordered architecture, which has and continues to evolve in an organic manner, with all the complexities that reflect such a structure. In addition, the work to date has perhaps been overly focused on tracking commitments and not results. The panel reflected on these issues, and whilst acknowledging the high costs of accountability, it also stressed that costs of not having any accountability should be taken into account.
Despite these structural challenges, the session also heard from SEEK Development about the excellent progress that has been made to date in implementing the financial commitments to the Global Strategy. These are only commitments that were expressed in financial terms, and that non-financial commitments could perhaps be even greater – although much more difficult to measure. In addition, the session heard a commitment from the iERG, that it will focus on holding us all to account for the increasing fragmentation of initiatives that the RMNCH community has witnessed, and tackle the burden that this fragmentation results in.
Finally, the session discussions recognised the need for continued capacity building for all stakeholders in the RMNCH community, together with continued dialogue and striving towards openness and transparency. A potential web-based commitments and progress tracking platform, open to all, may be one of the solutions for the community to consider.