Message from the Chair: iERG Consultation and other news
February 15, 2012
Welcome to the latest news from the iERG, the Commission on Information and Accountability's independent Expert Review Group. We have just completed our latest meeting and this blog is an update on our activities.
First, please save this date. On May 24 in Geneva, the iERG will be holding a stakeholder consultation at the World Council of Churches from 2-6 pm. We have room for 200 participants, and further details will be provided shortly about pre-registration. In the meantime, please mark your calendars. We want to see you in Geneva!
Further encouraging news came from the 130th Session of WHO's Executive Board, held in January. The Board approved an important resolution concerning "Monitoring the achievement of the health-related MDGs: implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health." This resolution reiterated WHO's crucial role in the delivery and follow-up of the Commission's recommendations, urged member states to honour their commitments to women's and children's health, and requested WHO to provide support for the iERG's continuing work. I can confirm, with much thanks, that we have had strong and unwavering support from colleagues at WHO, while maintaining our independent status.
Those of you who follow the work of the iERG closely will also have noticed that we now have our own website where we invite you to have your say. This offer of participation is critical to our success. We need to hear from you - to understand your view of progress on women's and children's health, its successes and its obstacles. Please take some time to write to us, providing as much evidence as you can to support the views you give us. The quality of our accountability work is entirely dependent on the quality of the information we receive. We need your input.
The work of the iERG is being assisted through several partnership arrangements, and these are evolving successfully. First, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health is constructing its framework and plan to measure delivery on the commitments made by all those who have signed up to the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy. Their work plans have been submitted to the iERG and we have acknowledged their hard work in advancing the health of women and children.
Second, we have written to the UNSG's office inviting a submission of evidence concerning their assessment of progress on the Global Strategy.
Third, the Countdown to 2015 group is planning to submit a summary of its work on use of indicators in countries and progress on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health by the beginning of June this year.
Fourth, the Health Metrics Network is now combining its work on monitoring vital registration with work conducted by WHO on delivering the Commission's recommendations. Workshops led by WHO are already underway in countries. Although it will be a tough task to obtain fully comprehensive data on all recommendations for all 75 countries, we have been assured that sufficient data will be gathered to give us an accurate basis for our first report.
Meanwhile, iERG members are actively attending meetings and events of our behalf, setting out the goals and objectives of the Commission and our group. The calendar for women's and children's health is a busy one, but we hope to be at all key events to listen and learn about the progress countries are making.
Once again, please let me thank you for your support. And can I encourage you to "have your say" at the iERG website. We want to hear your voice in this urgent debate.