The 2015 Report. Conference Draft
More than a decade ago the momentum generated by the Millennium Development Goals sparked those involved in the 2003 Lancet Child Survival Series to propose and launch Countdown to 2015—a global movement to track, stimulate and support country progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals, particularly goals 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health). Countdown is supra-institutional and includes academics, governments, international agencies, professional associations, donors, nongovernmental organizations and other members of civil society, with The Lancet as a key partner.
The new initiative pledged to hold regular conferences, with the aim of “ensuring that there is an overall mechanism for improving accountability, re-energising commitment, and recognizing accomplishments in child survival.”3 Countdown compiled data to launch its first report in 2005, which was followed by five more reports launched at various high-level fora in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
This final Countdown report begins with a summary of results from 2015 based on the data presented in the country profiles, building on a companion article published in The Lancet.9 It examines trends in mortality and nutrition; intervention coverage (including inequality); financial flows to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; and supportive policy and systems measures.
Although some topics and countries have seen considerable progress, important gaps remain that cannot be forgotten in the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals. The report then assesses changes in data availability and their implications for programme managers and decisionmakers. It concludes by turning a critical lens on the Sustainable Development Goals framework and future accountability efforts, drawing from Countdown’s 10 years of monitoring experience.