On June 13, 2012, Countdown organized a half-day civil society forum at the FHI 360 Conference Center in Washington, DC in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Save the Children. The forum brought together more than 200 civil society partners from over 40 countries, along with academics, and representatives of health professional associations, United Nations and US government agencies, to discuss progress toward meeting MDGs 4 and 5. Using new data from Countdown to 2015, participants learned about coverage of key interventions to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths and about how to leverage this information in policy and advocacy messaging at the global and national levels.
The civil society forum provided an introduction to Countdown to 2015, featuring Countdown’s work in relation to the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, as well as an overview of recent Countdown products including Accountability for Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival (March 2012) and Building a Future for Women and Children: The 2012 Report (June 2012).
Four breakout sessions were offered to allow more in-depth discussion of key activities related to Countdown to 2015. The recommendations resulting from the breakout group discussions will help to shape future implementation of Countdown to 2015 work. The sessions focused on:
- Expanding the reach of Countdown to 2015: Social media and other strategies for communicating evidence
- Ideas for future technical analysis: Current areas for cross-cutting research and analysis, including on quality of care
- Countdown country processes: Promoting and facilitating country Countdowns
- Financing for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health
The discussion at these breakout sessions, and at the civil society forum in general, are helping to shape how Countdown to 2015 moves forward with its technical and financial analysis and communications, and the technical assistance it provides for country-level Countdown processes. In the two days following the civil society forum, attendees participated in the Child Survival Call to Action event hosted by the Governments of Ethiopia, India, and the United States, together with UNICEF.
Countdown’s presentations at the civil society forum can be downloaded below: