Press release: From Pledges to Action

2010 Global Campaign Report

Another highlight at the Partners’ Forum will be the release of the 2010 Report of the Global Campaign for the Health MDGs by the Network of Global Leaders who are working to improve maternal and child health. The Network of Global Leaders was formed at the invitation of Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to provide political backing and advocacy at the highest possible level for the Global Campaign for the Health MDGs. In addition to Norway, members include the heads of state of Mozambique, Tanzania, Brazil, Liberia, Indonesia, Senegal, as well as Graca Machel, Founder and President of the Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique.

At the launch of The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health at the UN in September, the world's 49 lowest-income countries accounted for more than one-third of the financial commitments pledged by governments. The Global Campaign Report focuses on translating commitments into action. This year’s report features statements by a group of world leaders who explain how they plan to implement their commitments and their approach to holding themselves and others accountable for making progress. The report points out that accountability is essential to meeting the MDGs, for accountability “ensures that promises made become promises kept.”

Effective accountability must involve all stakeholders—governments, donors, multilateral agencies, philanthropic institutions, NGOs, the private sector, and health care professionals—and should meet three principles, according to the report:

  • Accountability must be tied to measuring results, especially outcomes and impact.
  • Because accountability requires national leadership and ownership, MNCH accountability should be tied to national health strategies and national monitoring and evaluation efforts.
  • Existing country- and global-level accountability mechanisms and processes should be built on, enhanced, and strengthened.

The 2010 Global Campaign Report emphasizes the need for accurate reporting of births and deaths, which currently does not exist in many low and middle-income countries. Accurate statistics on births, deaths, and causes of deaths are needed to provide evidence for any improvements in health and to measure progress toward meeting the MDGs.

Innovation in information technology, including deeper penetration of broadband access, provides new opportunities to improve civil registration systems in countries through on-line health records and public health information. The challenge will continue to be to ensure that such efforts are driven by need rather than technology alone.

Dr Richard Sezibera, Minister of Health of Rwanda, will be attending the Delhi meeting to participate in a special working lunch of health ministers, and to represent the Accountability Working Group of the Global Strategy, which Rwanda co-chairs with the Government of Canada and the World Health Organization.

Rwanda is a global leader in the use of mobile technology for strengthening health systems, implementing a real-time alert SMS system for tracking the maternal and neonatal life cycles. Critical points are documented, and sent electronically to a central database, with an auto-response alert of each critical event sent to the nearest health centre. Maternal deaths, for instance, trigger alerts in the system that then automatically prompt the supervising health facility to initiate a maternal death audit. Says Dr Sezibera: "These innovative community health-care systems ensure that an ever-increasing number of people will have access to affordable health services."