Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health

Message from the Chair: first meeting of the iERG

To help us do this work, we have adopted a communication strategy that focuses on outreach (meetings, advocacy, and calls for evidence), publications (meeting reports, blogs, journal articles), web tools (for data collection, reporting successes), and media activity.

Part of our challenge is going to be learning about the successes taking place in many countries. In Ottawa, we learned about the progress being made in accountability in Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through a mix of political commitment and technological innovation, accountability can be delivered, even in the absence of a strong and fully functioning health system.

We can't do everything ourselves. We are going to rely on partners to help us generate the evidence we need to do our work. More on this matter at a later date. In the meantime, all of this work is going to require considerable resources. We have enough investment in the iERG for its first year. We are working closely with WHO to make sure we can be properly sustained over our entire four-year lifespan.

Finally, I want to thank not only my colleagues on the iERG. I also want to thank the small team at WHO that is working with us to make accountability the new catalyst for global health progress. Thanks to the work of Marie-Paule Kieny, Ramesh Shademani, Natasha Shapovalova, and Anne-Laure Lameyre, we will endeavour to meet the expectations of the Commission and, more importantly, the hopes of women and children worldwide.

At the opening of the conference hosted by Canada, Minister Oda (Canada's Minister for International Cooperation) described the Commission's findings as ushering in "a new dialogue in development." (Read Minister Oda's remarks.) We share that view. We are determined to see it fully realised.

Posted on behalf of the iERG by Richard Horton
Co-Chair, iERG