Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health

The iERG 2013 report

Address from the Co-Chairs

Welcome to the second report of the independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health. We have now reached the half-way point in our work for the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. our objective is to make accountability a central element of his ambitious Every Woman, Every Child initiative. The pace of change for women’s and children’s health is rapid and sometimes hard to keep up with. Countries are moving quickly to do all they can to meet their Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. The global community is continuously devising visionary initiatives to catalyse progress internationally, regionally, and in countries. And a constant stream of new evidence is being generated to help policymakers make more reliable and informed decisions.

Amid this welcome activity is the need for someone to step back and ask: what is actually being achieved for women and children? Are the promises made at international conferences being delivered? What tangible and material benefits are women and children seeing from these commitments? What barriers exist to prevent political momentum from being converted into better results? In this year’s report, we look at global progress towards the aims of Every Woman, Every Child. We survey advances made on the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability. And we take two new subjects—country accountability and adolescents—and review progress in both areas. We also make six new recommendations, in addition to those we made last year, and we review how the proposals we made in 2012 have been received and responded to by partners.

Although we are “independent”, the iERG is a strong supporter of Every Woman, Every Child, and we see our role as advocates for, and contributors to, women’s and children’s health worldwide. Like many others, we are anxious that the gains made during the past decade are not lost as we move from the era of the MDGs to the epoch of the SDGs, or Sustainable Development Goals. In this report, we therefore pay special attention to the post-2015 development process and the need to put women and children (and adolescents) at the centre of development (and health) for the next decade. We very much look forward to your feedback on our work, as always. Please contact us directly at Thank you.

Richard Horton and Joy Phumaphi,
Co-Chairs of the independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health