Asia-Pacific Leadership and Policy Dialogue for Women’s and Children’s Health
7-9 NOVEMBER 2012 | MANILA, PHLIPPINES
Objectives & Programme
7 November - Preliminary technical briefings
8 November - Ministerial and leadership dialogue
9 November - Technical presentations and working sessions
Despite much of the region’s rapid economic growth, many countries in Asia and the Pacific still have high rates of maternal and child mortality, which threaten future sustainable growth. The investment case for reproductive, maternal, new born and child health (RMNCH) is strong. Healthy individuals are more productive, earn more, save more, invest more, consume more, and work longer, all of which have a positive impact on the gross domestic product of a nation. The findings of a recent study exploring the impact of health – as measured by life expectancy – on economic growth suggest that one extra year of life raises GDP by four percent.
The challenge now is to translate this strong investment case into evidence-based country-specific implementation strategies that maximize returns on investments and optimize outcomes for women’s and children’s health. Many countries in the Asia and Pacific Region have made significant investments in essential RMNCH programs and adopted innovative approaches to implementation, including financial innovations and mobile technologies to promote RMNCH. Ministries of Finance are vital partners with Ministries of Health in these endeavours to improve value for money, accountability and results in RMNCH.
In the Leadership Dialogue on 8 November, Ministers and Health and Finance shared their experiences on successes and challenges in getting value for investments in RMNCH, promoting accountability, and achieving results. They generated recommendations on how countries in Asia and the Pacific can accelerate implementation of essential RMNCH interventions and outlined regional cooperation strategies to take forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
The leadership discussion was followed by a technical meeting on 9 November where implementing agencies and experts reviewed the evidence and develop recommendations on how to accelerate implementation of essential RMNCH interventions, given the vision for multi-constituency regional cooperation outlined in the leadership discussions.
The policy dialogue focused on three main themes:
- Investment: Resources and tools to help countries prioritize investments and improve financing of essential RMNCH interventions.
- Implementation: Country success factors and challenges in implementing and scaling up RMNCH interventions, policy and systems requirements, and innovation.
- Accountability: Tracking countries’ progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, and women’s and children’s rights, as recommended by the Commission of Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.
In addition there were two cross-cutting themes:
- Innovation and research: Innovation and research can help accelerate improvements in women’s and children’s health by informing and enabling health and cross-sectoral services to perform more effectively and efficiently.
- Advocacy: Regional and national advocacy alliances can help raise awareness and mobilize required resources for investments, implementation and accountability for women’s and children’s health.