ICFP Closing Event: Good Governance and Accountability Needed in Post-MDG Agenda

With only two years left until the deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global development community is looking to the future. “The new post-2015 development agenda should build on the MDGs, but include new challenges facing people on the planet,” saidElizabeth Lule, Director of Family Planning at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a panelist on the International Conference of Family Planning’s closing event. This new process, Lule said, must be inclusive and open.

As the panelist gave their input on what should be included in the post-2015 development agenda, one two topics stood out: governance and accountability.  What is commonly needed in most countries is, “The role of governance, transparency, and accountability to make the [donor] money work for those who need it,” Lule said.

“Accountability for results [in the post-2015 development agenda] is a moral imperative,” stated panelist Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India. Gupta shared a story showing the results of India’s provision of free transportation of pregnant women to and from health centers. The result of more women giving birth in health centers was increased access and utilization of post-partum family planning.

The two additional panelists, Professor Dr. Fasli Jalal, Chairperson of the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) in Indonesia, and Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development’s Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), shared what they have found to be vital success that they have witnessed.

“Good governances at all levels, national to local is needed in order to achieve and maintain MDGs,” Dr. Jalal said as he expressed Indonesia’s intent to continue to make progress in family planning after the MDGs end.

When creating a post-2015 development agenda, there need to be indicators to help governments accountable, Dr. Musinguzi told the attendees. While many governments made multiple reproductive health commitments in the past, such as the ICPD and Maputo Plan of Action, many were not held accountable to them. Going forward, Dr. Musinguzi said, we “Need to hold governments and leaders accountable for the many reproductive health commitments that have been made.” With accountability and governance, universal access to family planning can become a reality.