Countdown to 2015: The Way Forward
In 2011, Countdown agreed to take responsibility for major parts of the follow-up agenda of the Commission for Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, including annual reporting and analysis of country-specific information on key indicators of coverage and its determinants.
Because Countdown’s success will ultimately be measured by country-level progress, another of Countdown’s major emphases moving forward will be on supporting countries in utilizing Countdown data, methodological approaches, reports, and conferences as a means of catalyzing national progress and ensuring accountability. Countdown has promoted direct country-level engagement since 2006, when Senegal became the first country to hold a national Countdown conference, bringing together government leaders, private and public partners, and the research community to review progress in child survival. Since then, Zambia held a national Countdown conference in 2008, resulting in significant actions to improve maternal, newborn, and child health by the government and other stakeholders, and Nigeria has embarked on an Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy that includes the regular production of up-to-date child and maternal health profiles for each of its 36 states, modeled on the Countdown country profiles. In 2013, several countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America began moving forward with plans to conduct Country Countdowns, with support from Countdown to 2015.
As the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline approaches, Countdown to 2015 has a full and aggressive agenda. Countdown’s plans include:
- Presenting Countdown findings at a range of international conferences and events
- Making Countdown’s database available to researchers wishing to conduct their own data analysis
- Supporting national-level, country-led Country Countdown processes, including national events where policy makers and advocates can discuss the implications of the data for national strategy development, planning, budgeting, and program implementation