Accountability depends on 3 interconnected processes: monitoring; review; and action.
Local Civil Society Organisations have unique technical expertise to monitor, unique perspectives to review, and unique role in acting.
MONITOR: meaning the careful tracking of progress based on a pre-defined set of targets and indicators.
We need to ensure we are monitoring the right things. Global monitoring on NCDs must include WHO targets and action plan, the UN commitments for NCDs, namely the 2011 Political Declaration, the 2014 Outcome Document, and Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals and targets.
REVIEW: meaning a participatory and democratic process whereby all parties can analyse the data derived from monitoring to determine whether improvements have been made, and whether pledges, promises and commitments have been kept.
We need robust country-level monitoring on NCDs to measure results. Monitoring and review cannot just occur at the global level. Until we have data and in-depth analyses of progress country by country, we will be in the dark on which countries are making good progress vs. those that are off track; what interventions are working and what is not. To achieve this, it is critical that all governments set national NCD targets based on their own context, and there is regularly reporting on progress against these targets.
ACT: meaning taking action on the findings that emerge from the monitoring and review process to accelerate progress.
We need space for independent assessments of progress in addition to the official monitoring and review processes. Civil society and academia can play a crucial role in holding governments to account on commitments made. Countdown to 2015 is a useful example here - an initiative carried out by WHO in partnership with civil society and academia which stimulated attention and swift action on MDGs 4 and 5 via regular reporting on progress.
NCD Alliance has adopted an oversight role in terms of accountability. We believe in the principle of collaboration and inclusiveness in accountability; and we bring important perspectives and capacities that can help stimulate action on NCDs. NCDA is a network with both global and national reach, and a network with extensive technical and practitioner expertise.
NCD Alliance's efforts in accountability to date have focused at two levels:
Country-level: benchmarking progress on NCD policy and practice, in South Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and East Africa ;
Global-level: NCDA has joined forces with the Lancet NCD Action Group on a new initiative called NCD Countdown 2025. The aim is to monitor and review progress on NCDs in some of the highest burden countries. Our purpose is to promote action and accountability. We are drawing from the experiences of Countdown to 2015. We intend to produce a report regularly, together with country profiles, to highlight progress and gaps, thus providing a tool for all stakeholders to use to advocate for action on NCDs.