Executive Director’s blog


PMNCH membership nudges over 500

PMNCH is pleased to offer a warm welcome to OPHID, Zimbabwe, our 500th member. OPHID joins an increasingly dynamic and diverse organization at PMNCH, with more than 200 new members in the past two years. Clearly, the well-being of women and children is a key interest for many, and our growing strength gives us even more capacity to harmonize our work, bringing people, organizations and agendas together. As 2015 comes even closer into view, our challenge will be to stay focused on the main order of business -- there are still 6.9 million children under -five, and more than 287,000 women, dying needlessly each year, and far too many children and women living in miserable circumstances as a result of poverty and disease. PMNCH recently submitted its vision of the post-2015 development framework to the UN, ahead of discussions this spring.

At the same time, PMNCH looks forward to supporting the implementation of the many initiatives that have been created in the past two years through our 2013 workplan. The key areas of the plan include:

  • Continued visibility for RMNCH issues through strengthening our relationships with parliamentarians, civil society organizations, facilitating partner based advocacy work and developing stronger media engagement strategies;
  • Working with existing CSO networks to advocate for policy to prioritise and promote implementation of the essential interventions for women’s and children’s health in priority countries;
  • Supporting the harmonization of initiatives including on governance, accountability and financing of RMNCH issues;
  • Strengthening partner engagement and alignment through outreach and coordination nationally, regionally, globally, encouraging stronger coordination within our multi-stakeholder partner platform and advocacy network.

Through our workplan, we look forward to supporting the work of the many recent initiatives for women and children, including the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, Family Planning 2020, the Child Survival Call to Action and the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

In particular, PMNCH will place even greater focus on action at the country level, particularly how we can improve alignment and collaboration in countries. This means closer relationships and support for Civil Society Organizations, Parliamentarians and Governments to galvanize action in country, including through the Countdown process.

Also in 2013, a Global Newborn Action Plan will be launched to take forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health by focusing on newborn survival, neglected yet integral to the achievement of MDG 4 –child survival. As a framework for improving newborn health, the Global Newborn Action Plan will build on the Born Too Soon Report, the Global Report on Preterm Birth and Stillbirth etc. It will provide a comprehensive guide with evidence based solutions for change, enabling high-level policy makers to take accelerated action to implement national plans for newborn survival. In the coming months, PMNCH and partners will lead a series of thematic consultations to engage with stakeholders such as governments, researchers, UN Agencies, professional associations, CSOs etc. to provide inputs and seek clear consensus on action to scale- up child survival.

As we look towards the post-2015 era, the well-being of women and children must remain high on national, regional and global policy agendas. So, a toast to the great work done in 2012 and here’s to an exciting and fruitful collaboration in 2013.