Partners Forum

Select: Stream 1 | Stream 2

Monday, June 30, 2014

9:00 am – 10:30 am Working together with all sectors
  • Representative of the Government of the Republic of South Africa
  • Mrs Graça Machel on behalf of the co-hosts

Plenary Session 1: Healthy women and children at the heart of sustainable development

Improving the health of women and children is essential to sustainable development. While the world has made progress, more can and must be done. This opening panel will explore the progress that has been achieved, as well as models that can guide our future work. Speakers will highlight areas where accelerated action and accountability is urgently needed and how the global community can ensure a strong focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in the post-2015 development framework. This panel will be preceded by welcome addresses from the Government of South Africa and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, which will include the launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan and the Countdown to 2015 report.

Session Participants:

Moderator: Nikiwe Bikitsha


  • Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Andrea Nunez Argote, Vice President, World YWCA
  • Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
  • Amina Mohammed, UN Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia (TBC)
  • Christopher Elias, President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates
10:30 am – 11:00 am Morning Refreshment Break, preceded by 10 minutes security briefing
Press Conference 1
• Global Launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan
• Global Launch of the Countdown to 2015 Report for 2014
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Parallel Sessions 1: Sustaining gains, achieving targets, moving beyond mortality to healthy lives
Session 1A: Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health: How some countries are accelerating progress to reduce maternal and child mortality.

A High Level Panel Discussion with Audience Participation.
While there has been great progress toward improving women’s and children’s health, success has varied significantly from country to country. Why are some low- and middle-income countries on the “fast-track” to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for maternal and child health, while others lag behind? Through this interactive session and high-level panel discussion, participants will explore the in-country policy environments and multisector strategies that have accelerated progress in fast-track countries, and identify lessons adaptable for other countries. This session will also feature the formal launch of the Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health publication, which highlights successful policies and programmes in ten “fast-track” countries.
Session 1B: Building a Future in Which Children Survive and Thrive

Evidence suggests that close to a third of all children under five, or 200 million children, do not attain their full development capacity. Using state-of-the-art evidence, this session will explore three critical areas of investment – in the first 1000 days of life, early childhood (0-8 years of age) and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) – to demonstrate the power of addressing the development needs of children through coordinated efforts within and outside the health sector. Experts will also address the rationale for investing in child development from a social, economic and sustainable development perspective.

Session 1C: Delivering Immunisation Together: Hitting the MDGs and Health Goals Beyond 2015

Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions, and has helped to drive the fall in child mortality. But despite significant progress, one in five children go unimmunized every year and 1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases. This session will focus on the benefits of immunization to children’s health and, more broadly, to country development. Participants will also explore how countries leverage the high reach of immunization to deliver other interventions that benefit the health of women and children.

Session 1D: Every Mother, Every Newborn: Ensuring Quality Care at Birth

Newborn deaths now account for at least 44% of all deaths among children under age five globally, resulting in 2.9 million deaths annually. Another 2.6 million babies die in the last three months of pregnancy or during childbirth (stillbirths). This session will introduce the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2014. Panellists will present and discuss implementation of this new roadmap, which aims to save three million lives each year by improving quality care at the time of birth, and support for small and sick babies.

Session 1E: Integrating NCDs into Women and Children’s Health: Solutions, Innovations, and Partnerships

Women and children in low- and middle-income countries often bear the “triple burden” of ill health related to pregnancy and childbirth, communicable diseases, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which leads to a vicious cycle of poverty, loss of income and poor health. Many of these burdens, however, can be addressed in tandem. This session will provide an overview of the evidence and rationale for integrating NCDs into the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) continuum of care. Participants will explore good practices and innovations, highlight opportunities to promote a comprehensive approach to health for the post-2015 era, and issue recommendations on the practical steps needed to further develop this integrated approach.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Plenary Session 2: Health: An accountability model for Post-2015?

By holding each other accountable to continued action, we can ensure progress toward a world where no mother, newborn or child is left behind. Centred on the Countdown to 2015 report, which features country profiles for 75 countries with the highest morbidity and mortality of women and children, this session will review the current tools and data we use to track progress on maternal and child health. Panellists will explore new mechanisms and tools to strengthen accountability across sectors in the post-2015 era.

Session Participants:

Moderator: Tsepiso Makwetla, SABC News

Keynote address: Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Co-chair, Countdown to 2015


  • Joy Phumaphi, Co-chair, Independent Expert Review Group
  • Aminu Garba, Evidence for Action
  • Stephen Kebwe Kebwe, Deputy Minister of Health & Social Welfare Tanzania
  • Nargis Shirazi, It Takes Two Campaign
3:00pm – 3:30 pm Afternoon Refreshment Break
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Parallel Sessions 2: Health: A model of Accountability for Post-2015

Session 2A: Better Data for Better Policy Making, Programming and Accountability

In today’s modern age, only a third of the world’s countries have a complete registration system with accurate data on causes of maternal and perinatal deaths. Yet this information is essential to measure and monitor results, inform planning processes, and set up accountability systems. In the absence of quality and reliable data, accountability and transparency are near impossible. This session will explore how the research community, donors, countries and international agencies are helping bridge the data gap to meet all data needs for women's and children's health and strengthen accountability.

Session 2B: The Every Woman Every Child Health-Model of Accountability in the Post-2015 Era: A Multi-Constituency Platform to Track Accountability.

Accountability is the cornerstone of the United Nations Secretary-General’s (UNSG) Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Now, a review commissioned by the UNSG presents an opportunity to examine the Strategy’s accountability model and identify lessons learned to date. Findings will allow the community to develop a more robust accountability approach within the health sector, and inform discussions on accountability tied to the post-2015 development agenda. This session will build on the accountability plenary and will convene reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health stakeholders to discuss the value of accountability for health and other sectors in the post-2015 era. Participants will highlight potential governance processes and identify opportunities to build momentum around concrete outcomes and recommendations for effective accountability frameworks.

Session 2C: Accountability for RMNCH: The African Perspective and Prospects

Accountability is a key element of the African Union’s comprehensive strategy to promote women’s and children’s health in Africa. In collaboration with the Government of South Africa, PMNCH, UNFPA and WHO, the African Union will use this session to review its various women’s and children’s health initiatives and related accountability initiatives and identify mutually beneficial linkages with national and global initiatives. Following a presentation of the African Union-led RMNCH initiatives and accountability efforts, panellists will share experiences and lessons learned and make recommendations on how to improve national, regional and global accountability for better outcomes for African mothers and children.

Session 2D: Countdown to 2015 and Beyond: Fulfilling the Health Agenda for Women and Children

This session will showcase the findings of the Countdown to 2015’s newest report and country profiles. Countdown to 2015 uses country-specific data to track, stimulate and support progress towards achieving the health-related MDGs, particularly MDGs 4 and 5, in the 75 countries where more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths occur. The Countdown 2014 report provides an update on country progress, focusing on evidence-based solutions, health systems, policies, financing and broader contextual factors that affect health. The report identifies areas for action, and lessons learned that are applicable to accountability efforts now and post-2015. The session will also showcase key results from in-depth country case studies on progress and lessons for scaling up RMNCH programs.

Session 2E: Addressing Nutrition Needs in a Post-2015 Agenda

Ensuring healthy and balanced diets in a sustainable and efficient manner remains one of the greatest challenges to achieving optimal physical, cognitive and social development of individuals and communities. Following brief presentations on the latest research in the nutrition field, participants will discuss strategies for reducing malnutrition among the most vulnerable groups. The session will examine the role of cross-sector partnerships in preventing the double burden of malnutrition, highlight the importance of nutrition as a complement to 1,000 days-focused initiatives and issue recommendations on how to urgently address remaining obstacles.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm UNF & Social Good event at the Partner's Forum

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

8:30 am – 10:00 am Plenary 3: Equity – leave no one behind

Ensuring equity across all sectors, including health, will be key to the post-2015 agenda. Every woman and child, everywhere, has a right to quality health services. Session participants will discuss solutions to address inequities across various areas, including access to technology and health care in conflict environments. The conversation will be framed within the Beijing +20 and the ICPD+20, frameworks, as well as the concept of Universal Health Coverage.

Session Participants:
Chair(s): Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA and Bridget Okeke Chukwudera, Senior Programme Manager for Concern International Development Initiative


  • Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development, South Africa
  • HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan
  • Armando de Negri, Executive Director of the World Social Forum on Health and Social Security
  • Cesar Victora, University of Pelotas
  • C K Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
10:30 am – 11:00 am Morning Refreshment Break

11:00 am - 12:30 pm Parallel Sessions 3: Priorities for reducing inequities

Session 3A: Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality : We Can We Must

Nearly 300,000 women die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. For every one of those women, twenty more suffer serious or long-lasting consequences, perpetuating a vicious cycle of poverty and loss that devastates families, communities and nations. This session will explore the social and economic impact of maternal mortality and morbidity, and will be centered on the new Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality framework that was developed through an intense global consultative process. The panel will evaluate the framework from a country perspective and highlight the global and country-level targets, implementing players, and definitions of success.

Session 3B: The Digital Divide: Making Mobile and ICTs a Reality for All.

There is a persistent gap in access to digital information, exacerbated by inequities in reading and technical literacy, lack of perceived need, resource gaps and lack of power, cultural norms and costs. In this session, experts will explore these barriers and discuss strategies for overcoming them. Participants will hear from specific programs that are tackling challenges such as affordability, creation of compelling digital content and engagement of household decision-makers, as well as from representatives across multiple sectors that are key to creating an enabling environment for improved digital access.

Session 3C: Integrating Services for HIV/AIDS and RMNCH to Promote Equitable Access to Quality Care for Women and Children

The health of mothers and children is inextricably linked, yet health systems are often not set up to support this. For example, currently, a woman who has recently delivered her baby may come to a post-natal clinic for her own health, but take her children to be immunized on a different day at a different child health centre; and would have to come back on yet another day to yet another, different service to have the nutrition status of her child monitored or corrected. And a child who is not thriving because of underlying HIV might not be identified at any of these services. Using the HIV-MNCH linkage as a case study, this session will look at how integrating services can greatly expand coverage and save lives.

Session 3D: Universal Health Coverage and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Common Goals, Shared Challenges.

The panel will explore the interconnectivity between Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC); the lessons already learned; experiences and opportunities that should be exploited as the world moves closer to the post-2015 development agenda. It is expected to highlight some of the specific challenges, drawing on country experiences to unpack critical aspects such as equity; rights; quality and voice and accountability in the context of SRHR and UHC.

Session 3E: Equitable Access to Quality Midwifery Care – Perspectives from Midwifery Care Providers on Making This a Reality.

Equal access to sexual and reproductive health – including family planning and maternity services for all women – and ensuring that young, first-time mothers can access the information and services they need, are key to improving the health of women and children. But they cannot be achieved without educating, deploying and supporting adequate numbers of midwives and building an environment in which they can deliver the full scope of their services. This panel will share key findings from “State of the World’s Midwifery 2014,” which analyses the progress to date and future challenges in delivering midwifery services in 73 countries. Midwifery service providers will also share their perspectives on effective strategies to address these challenges.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 2:20 pm Millennium Development Goal Advocates Open Press/Plenary Session (open to all Forum participants)

Celebrating success and accelerating action on the Millennium Development Goals This special high level session, intended for the media and open to all Forum participants, brings together world leaders and development champions onto one platform to make a historic commitment to delivering on the vision for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This session will mark the introduction of the Partners' Forum communiqué and the launch of a tour by the MDG Advocates in South Africa that will promote the future development framework and the necessity to end poverty and improve the lives of all women and children by 2030.

Session Participants:

Moderator: Mia Malan, Journalist, Mail & Guardian


  • Graça Machel, Chair, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health & African Ambassador for a Promise Renewed
  • Stine Bosse: CEO, TrygVesta Group, Chairman of Børnefonden/The Childrens’ Fund
  • Dho Young-Shim: Chair, UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation (Republic of Korea)
  • Philippe Douste-Blazy: United Nations Special Advisor on innovative financing for development
  • Kathy Calvin: President and CEO, The United Nations Foundation

2:30 pm – 3:40 pm Parallel Sessions 4: Leveraging investments for health and sustainable development

The evidence is clear that sustained and accelerated improvements in women and children’s health will require multi-sector investments involving multiple actors at the international, national and community levels. This session will review advances made by countries, donors, and international agencies which have recognized the importance of investments and initiatives outside the health sector

Session 4A: Scaling-up Innovations: New ways of dealing with unfinished business.

While we’ve made great progress in improving the health of women and their children, much more needs to be done. The global community must shift its focus to scaling up high-impact, quality interventions, from both the demand and supply sides. Using country-specific case studies, speakers will highlight key actions and strategies that are being used to identify and implement effective interventions – such as social and community mobilization strategies and key accelerator behaviors – that can lead to improved health outcomes for women and their children.
Session 4B: Investing in Adolescents and Youth as Agents of Change: The Future is a Girl Aged Ten

Adolescent girls across the world are often viewed as being of lesser value than their brothers. Their health is threatened in countless ways: gender-based violence, child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and related complications, HIV, and a lack of non-judgmental health services, among others. But these girls also have an inspiring ability to be their own agents of change, and empowering them contributes to society’s well-being. This session will highlight critical issues related to adolescent girls’ health, the benefits of engaging young leaders, and the importance of investing in youth-led organizations, particularly in the areas of sexual and reproductive health. Panellists will share experiences and lessons learned from adolescent health programs and identify adolescent health priorities for the post-2015 agenda.

Session 4C. Mobilization of resources to RMNCH investments for reaching 2035 targets

Investing in health can bring substantial returns. In fact, there is strong evidence that RMNCH investments are essential for reducing poverty levels and boosting prosperity. If the right health investments are made from today, only a generation from now (by 2035), resource-constrained countries could see dramatic health and economic improvements. For women’s and children’s health in particular, increasing health expenditure in six specific areas – family planning, maternal and newborn health, malaria, HIV, immunization, and child health – by just US$5 per person per year could yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits. This session aims to identify trends in resources mobilization for women’s and children’s health and how to ensure more money is available and utilized for investment in these six specific areas.

Session 4D. Investing in Community Strategies for maternal and child health.

The Every Newborn action plan underlines the importance of greater policy action and investment to support parents and communities in sharing their experiences and speaking out for action. What does the evidence tell us about what works when it comes to interventions that support parents and communities? This parallel session complements the launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan at the Partners’ Forum by highlighting four key areas of interest for greater policy action and investment, all of which are essential demand-side components of national RMNCH plans and budgets: interpersonal communication through community health workers and home-based visits, community mobilization through women’s groups, mass media behavioural change campaigns, and community-led advocacy and accountability networks.

Session 4E.Getting It Right: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Family Planning in the Post-2015 Agenda

Evidence indicates that the explicit inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including family planning, in the post-2015 agenda will be necessary to achieve our goals for improved maternal, newborn and child health. In this session, panellists will reflect on progress expanding access to family planning since 2000 and highlight remaining gaps, and submit for discussion a human rights framework for ensuring the quality provision of contraceptive information and services in the post-2015 world. Attendees will be invited to share their suggestions for SRHR measures necessary for monitoring and achieving progress, including ways to ensure meaningful participation of women and youth.

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm Afternoon Refreshment Break

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Plenary Session 4: Leveraging investments for health and sustainable development

Investing in maternal, newborn and child health means investing in our future. As we approach 2015, we must ensure that financial commitments continue to prioritize the health of women and children everywhere. This plenary will explore how innovative financing collaborations between global south players, regional blocs and new public-private partners can support health and development in an integrated manner. Panelists will also discuss the role these mechanisms play in leveraging new funding sources for health.

Session Participants:

Moderator: Nikiwe Bikitsha, Broadcaster and Columnist


  • Andrea Nunez Argote, Vice President, World YWCA Board
  • Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Christopher Elias, President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia
  • Amina Mohammed, UN Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Plenary Session 5: Our common vision: Delivering health and development for women and children beyond 2015

Cross-sector partnerships are essential to accelerating efforts to improve RMNCH. As the Forum draws to a close, panelists will explore how best to align the roles of private, public, civil society and other sectors – and how stakeholders can work together to accelerate progress toward health for all. This plenary aims to establish a common vision and galvanize partners for action beyond 2015, acting as a launchpad for the Partners’ Forum communiqué.

Session Participants:

MC: Nikiwe Bikitsha

Video Address from Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Presentation of Partners’ Forum Communiqué.

  • Carole Presern, Executive Director, PMNCH


  • Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID
  • Miguel Pestana, Vice-President, Sustainability Strategy and Global Advocacy, Unilever
  • Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA
  • Yemurai Nyoni, founding Executive Director, Bulawayo Youth Development Organization
  • Nila Moeloek, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Indonesia on the Millennium Development Goals
  • Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization
Closing remarks: Representative of the Government of the Republic of South Africa