UN Commission Plots Steps for More Accountability in Women, Child's Health Aid Flow

A mother carries her child outside a temple in Sri Lanka. Photo by: IRIN

An international commission tasked with creating an accountability framework for tracking how resources for women and children’s health are spent has presented its final report, which includes practical recommendations on how to improve global reporting, oversight and accountability on efforts to save the lives of mothers and children in developing countries.

The U.N. Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, presented an advance copy of its report, dubbed “Keeping Promises, Measuring Results,” at the 64th World Health Assembly in Switzerland.

>> UN Creates Commission to Ensure Accountability in Women and Child’s Health Aid Flow

The report outlines 10 recommendations, including increasing the number of developing countries with well-developed systems for measuring births, deaths and causes of deaths, using 11 common indicators to measure reproductive, maternal and child hrealth, integrating information and communication technologies in national information systems, and helping countries with high maternal and child death rates trace and report resource indicators.

The commission, which is led by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, also suggested the following:

- Aid recipients and their development partners should adopt “compacts” that require reporting externally funded expenditures and predictable aid commitments.- Aid recipients should be capable of regularly reviewing health spending and comparing spending to commitments. - Countries should develop and implement transparent and inclusive national accountability mechanisms.- All stakeholders should publicly share aid information. - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee should determine how it can better capture all maternal and child health-related spending of donors.

Further, the commission wants an independent expert review group to regularly report to the U.N. secretary-general about the results and resources related to the women and child health strategy adopted by the United Nations at the 2010 Millennium Development Goals summit in New York.

>> MDG Summit Culminates With USD40B Global Health Roadmap

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.