Recognizing that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) pose one of the biggest threats to health and development globally and require multisectoral action, the UNGA has convened two high-level meetings on NCDs in 2011 and 2014. These meetings, attended by heads of state or their representatives, have led to endorsement of a number of commitments globally and nationally to accelerate action on the prevention and control of NCDs. To date most commitments made at international and national forums have not translated into concrete actions on ground in terms of implementation and enforcement of policies and laws. Thus, most countries are lagging on NCD targets.
Lack of accountability systems is a major challenge for insufficient implementation at country level. WHO in consultation with Member States has developed the global NCD monitoring framework with outcome and process indicators as well as nine global targets. The responsibility of reporting on these targets is currently shouldered entirely by health ministries, while it is well understood that a number of other sectors such as finance, trade, commerce, law and enforcement should be responsible for taking actions to prevent NCDs.
Strong accountability mechanisms are required at country and global levels to enable the tracking of commitments, resources, and results by all relevant sectors. Accountability mechanisms must extend beyond monitoring to include independent review of progress on delivery of commitments, followed by actions based on the review. Accountability mechanisms must take into account principles of positive psychology to motivate relevant stakeholders to take ownership and responsibility to fulfill commitments.
This session will draw on lessons learned from other similar initiatives such as countdown 2015 and will entail discussions on mechanisms for accountability by different sectors, especially the use of motivation and engagement to ensure that policy makers in other sectors including commerce, trade, finance take ownership take and responsibility for health policy consequences of their decisions. The session will also discuss the role of various actors in setting up and implementing accountability mechanisms including government, civil society, academia and public. The session will be used as a forum for sharing of lessons from 2-3 countries, discussion among relevant government sectors, civil society, academia and media and identification of next steps to enhance accountability systems at country and global levels.