PMNCH Progress Report 2012
Publisher/Organizer: The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Publication date: May 2013
Number of pages: 47
The year 2012 was marked by great progress in innovation and consolidation in the area of women’s and children’s health. After the massive scale-up in attention and effort that followed the 2010 launch of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, it was a year of growing sophistication, with efforts focused on neglected areas in the Continuum of Care and aimed at helping both the global community and local implementers to address issues and priorities that have not yet taken centre stage.
The London Summit on Family Planning, convened by the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the United Nations Population Fund and other partners, mobilized US$ 2.6 billion to give an additional 120 million women and girls in developing countries access to contraceptive information, services and supplies by 2020. The United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway, defined a priority list of 13 overlooked commodities that could save more than 6 million lives, with recommendations to increase their access and use.
Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth mobilized attention to the neglected issue of prematurity, with recommendations to eliminate three quarters of preventable deaths with simple, cost-effective care. The Child Survival Call to Action in Washington, D.C. launched the Commitment to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed movement, led by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States with UNICEF, to monitor progress in child survival efforts and ensure mutual accountability. The first-ever International Day of the Girl Child called attention to the critical issue of child marriage as a human rights issues as well as a key determinant of both health and education outcomes – a call that PMNCH supported with a new Knowledge Summary on reaching child brides and a highlevel multi-partner event and media campaign for the 2013 UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York.
Finally, the annual PMNCH Report – Analysing Progress on Commitments to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health looked at commitments made by 220 stakeholders, identifying substantial steps forward to deliver on the ambitions of the signatories, and finding that the Global Strategy has been an important catalyst to action at country level.
The Partnership continued to grow in 2012, and now brings together more than 523 partners in concerted action to deliver on MDGs 4, 5 and 6 – growing in number by more than two-thirds since 2010. The increase in the Partnership’s activities can be measured in the scale-up of its media activities, including the achievement of 1 million hits in 2012 for www.pmnch.org.
The Partnership also maintains more traditional forms of engagement, such as teleconferences to bring together the various constituencies in joint planning exercises and to govern its work. The Partnership ensures that its governance activities, in particular its Board meetings, provide opportunities for advocacy and knowledge-sharing as well as good governance. This was especially notable at the Board meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2012 where high-level interventions with parliament occurred in conjunction with such major national events as the launch of the Saving One Million Lives initiative by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Throughout 2012, advocacy was a key component of the Partnership’s work. The Partnership provides support to a wide range of civil society partners, whether through catalysing national advocacy coalitions or through high-impact regional or global opportunities that can advance the agenda. The Asia- Pacific Leadership and Policy Dialogue, held in Manila in November, was an important opportunity to ramp up cross-sectoral collaboration in the region, bringing together ministers and policy leaders from nearly 20 countries with senior UN, NGO, donor, health professional, academic and private sector members of PMNCH.
Similarly, 2012 heralded other key moments for greater accountability. The spring meeting of the International Parliamentary Union in Uganda in March 2012 saw the culmination of years of effort by PMNCH and partners, resulting in a resolution by more than 120 national parliaments to scale up national action on maternal and child health, including greater national accountability measures. The independent Expert Review Group, which was established in 2011 at the request of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, produced its first report, and also engaged with stakeholders to ensure a robust, transparent process incorporating a broad range of perspectives. The number of countries undertaking self-assessments of their progress and establishing roadmaps to chart their own course forward has grown substantially, demonstrating far stronger local ownership of the issues.51
As secretariat to the Countdown to 2015 effort, The Partnership continued advocating for increased tracking of progress in countries that bear the greatest burden of maternal and child deaths. In 2012, Countdown prepared two reports, one focused on the core Commission indicators and the second on all of the indicators tracked by Countdown. Countdown’s reports reflect on important progress made on increasing coverage of proven interventions and on decreasing maternal and child mortality. The Partnership advocated for key findings from the 2012 Countdown report, which showed that only nine of the 75 countries are on track to reach MDG 5 on maternal health, while 23 are on track to achieve MDG 4 on child mortality.
Finally, in the realm of innovation, the Partnership continued to act as secretariat for the Innovation Working Group. The Working Group is co-chaired by the Government of Norway and Johnson & Johnson, and the Partnership continues to support its work as a global hub for innovation, catalyzing the initiation and enabling the scale-up of cost-effective innovations across technological, social, financial, policy and business fields.,
Looking ahead in 2013, the Partnership will continue to enhance efforts to deliver its strategic goals relating to knowledge, advocacy and accountability, ensuring that work continues to enhance, amplify and coordinate the important actions of partners at all levels – national, regional and global. Particularly relevant is the work of The Partnership in contributing to discussions on the post-2015 development framework through knowledge synthesis, partner consensus-building and advocating for that joint position. In this way the Partnership will continue to scale up knowledge, action and accountability on the most effective approaches to improve the health and lives of women and children.