Countdown is a collaboration of academics from global, regional, country institutions, UN agencies and World Bank and civil society organizations, to track progress of life-saving interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N).

Countdown generates evidence to foster advocacy and accountability for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. We analyze data on coverage of health interventions across socioeconomic status, gender, education, and geography, and on key drivers of change such as policy, finance, and other health system dimensions.

In 2022-2026, Countdown to 2030 is supporting analysis and capacity strengthening in 25 Global Financing Facility-supported countries. This includes several innovative regional approaches  and feeds into global monitoring of progress. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in this work to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Improved country-led data analysis and monitoring
  • Increased innovation and evidence through multi-country collaboration
  • Improved global monitoring and measurement
  • Improved communications for policies, programs and accountability

Originally known as Countdown to 2015, the Countdown Initiative was started in 2003, in response to the challenge of the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015

In Phase I (2016 – 2019), the Countdown to 2030 Initiative adapted its strategies and approaches to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and particularly the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030.

In Phase II (2020 – 2022), Countdown expanded our work to collaborate with public health institutions in 15 countries through a partnership with the Global Financing Facility (GFF). Through Exemplars in Global Health, we completed research studies in 8 countries to understand why some countries outperformed others in maternal and newborn mortality declines during years 2000-2017.

Countdown to 2030 Structure



African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the University of Manitoba, and the US Fund for UNICEF provide administrative and fiscal management to Countdown projects and investments.

Steering Committee

The steering committee aims to coordinate and align Countdown initiatives and is co-chaired by a representative from the UN and from the research community. The steering committee co-chairs are Catherine Kyobutungi from APHRC and Anshu Banerjee from the World Health Organization.

Technical Working Group

Co-chaired by APHRC and JHU, the technical working group guides the monitoring and measurement work with the focus areas in effective coverage, equity, finance, conflict, nutrition, and early childhood development.

Data Analysis Centers

Countdown has established six Data Analysis Centers (DAC) which support the GFF countries with tools and methods for data analysis and are also contributing to global synthesis of country evidence. DACs maintain a repository of country data and contribute to monitoring and measuring the progress and performance of RMNCAH+N from a global and regional perspective. Details are available on the DAC webpages.