Countdown 2014 cover3 1Countdown launched its 2014 Report on June 30, 2014, at the Partners’ Forum of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Countdown was a co-sponsor of the Forum, together with PMNCH, A Promise Renewed, and the independent Expert Review Group (iERG).

The 2014 Report, Fulfilling the Health Agenda for Women and Children, was released exactly 18 months to the day from the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015. Like previous Countdown reports, it includes an updated, detailed profile for each of the 75 Countdown countries, which together account for more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, newborn and child death. The report shows that progress has been impressive in some areas, but it also highlights the vast areas of unfinished business that must be prioritized in the post-2015 framework.

The 2014 Report also provides an assessment of the state of the data to support evidence-based decisions in women’s and children’s health, and describes elements of the Countdown process that might inform ongoing efforts to hold the world to account for progress. It concludes by laying out concrete action steps that can be taken now to ensure continued progress for women and children in the years ahead.

Included in the 2014 Report:

  • “Unfinished business, achievable goals”
  • Nutrition: a building block for progress
  • Coverage across the continuum of care, globally and at the country level
  • Equity: no women and children left behind
  • Determinants of coverage and equity — policies, systems and financing
  • Data revolution and evolution: the foundation for accountability and progress
  • The Countdown process—what we have learned so far
  • Countdown speaks: priorities for the next 500 days and beyond

Countdown’s 2014 Report can be downloaded below, either in its entirety or in its component parts:

Full Report
pdfFull Report (including profiles) [11.2 MB]
pdfFull Report (without profiles) [7.8 MB]

Report Sections

pdfPart 1 (pp. i-iv, 1-13) [1.4 MB]

  • Acknowledgements/Contents
  • Countdown headlines for 2014
  • Introduction: unfinished business, achievable goals
  • Countdown: The 2014 Report
  • Progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5
    • Trends in child mortality in the 75 Countdown countries, by average annual rate of reduction, 2000-2012
    • Trends in maternal mortality in the 75 Countdown countries, by average annual rate of reduction, 2000-2013
    • Preventing Unsafe Abortion
  • Nutrition: a building block for progress
    • In 42 of the 62 Countdown countries with available data, 30% or more of children are stunted
    • On average across the Countdown countries, stunting prevalence is 2.5 times higher among the poorest wealth quintile than among the richest
    • The first 1,000 days: How interventions in early life can improve adult health and human capital

pdfPart 2 (pp. 14-25) [1.7 MB]

  • Coverage along the continuum of care
    • Countries with high coverage of key interventions tend to have lower child mortality
    • Coverage of interventions varies across the continuum of care
    • National coverage of Countdown interventions, most recent survey, 2008 or later
    • Changes in national coverage of Countdown interventions from 2000-2007 to 2008-2012 by proportion of the coverage gap closed between the two periods
    • With adequate focus and financing, coverage can and should accelerate quickly for many proven interventions
    • Demographic change affects coverage change
    • Conflict presents additional challenges for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health
  • Equity: no women and children left behind
    • In virtually every Countdown country with available data, coverage of eight preventive and curative interventions is higher among the richest than among the poor
    • Some countries have been able to reduce inequality in coverage between rich and poor
    • In some countries more than half the mothers and children in the poorest 20% of the population have received two or fewer essential interventions

pdfPart 3 (pp. 26-44) [1.7 MB]

  • Determinants of coverage and equity – policies, systems, and financing:
    • Coverage + Service Quality/Readiness = Impact
    • Family planning: addressing the unmet need
    • Some tracer policies have high adoption rates in Countdown countries, but critical gaps remain
    • No Countdown country with available data has endorsed all 10 tracer indicators and 22 have adopted five or fewer
    • Over 2012-2014 the number of Countdown countries that have adopted five of the six key policies for which trend data are available has increased
    • Midwives matter
    • Most Countdown countries with available data include the majority of the 13 essential commodities on their essential medicines list
    • Out-of-pocket financing – who pays for health care?
    • Official development assistance flows for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health
  • Data revolution and evolution: the foundation for accountability and progress
    • Of the 75 Countdown countries, 28 (37%) conducted a nationally representative survey in 2011 or 2012, providing high-quality, recent data to support assessments of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
    • Keeping coverage measurement current: an example from postnatal care
    • Half of Countdown countries had data for only 1 of 9 recommended coverage measures in 2011-2012
  • The Countdown process – what we have learned so far
  • Countdown speaks: priorities for the next 500 days and beyond
How to use the Countdown country profile

Country profiles

Note: 2014 country profiles for individual countries (along with country profiles from earlier years) are available here.

Back matter

pdfBack matter (annexes, notes, references) [327 KB]
pdfAnnexes [294 KB]

  • Annex A: About Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival
  • Annex B: Summary of Countdown data sources and analysis methods
  • Annex C: Country profiles indicators and data sources
  • Annex D: Definitions of Countdown coverage indicators
  • Annex E: Definitions of health policies, systems and finance indicators
  • Annex F: Technical annex for Health Systems and Policies Technical Working Group and Financing Technical Working Group
  • Annex G: Countdown countries prioritized for malaria intervention coverage analysis
  • Annex H: Details on estimates produced by interagency groups – mortality, immunization, and water and sanitation

pdfNotes and references [124 KB]

The data and results used to construct Countdown’s reports and profiles are publicly available. Data for the 2014 Report and profiles will be available for download soon. For more information about Countdown’s datasets, please contact the Countdown Secretariat at The most updated country data on the coverage indicators tracked in Countdown are available at