Pushing for Progress through NCD Accountability
In 2018 and 2019, the NCD movement united under the ENOUGH. campaign, ahead of the UN High-Level Meetings on Noncommunicable Diseases (2018) and Universal Health Coverage (2019), where governments made plenty of ambitious commitments. Now, the Global Week for Action on NCDs aims to see those commitments and others become reality by focusing on ACCOUNTABILITY.
This year’s theme is ACCOUNTABILITY, a crucial force for political and programmatic change. It involves monitoring of commitments made by governments, and of how they are using our resources. It aims to put some pressure on decision makers, to ensure that promises become actions. Monitoring also gathers information on what works and why, and what needs improving. This gives decision makers the information necessary to fulfil the health needs and rights of all people at risk of or living with NCDs.
Governments have committed to many targets for NCDs through the United Nations (UN), such as World Health Organization (WHO) NCD targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WHO and the UN have accountability mechanisms for NCDs in place, but these can be strengthened by independent civil society-led accountability action, especially at the national level. We can all help ensure that commitments made translate into targets met, to turn back the tide on the current NCD epidemic. We’ve seen through COVID-19 the devastating effects of neglect - it’s time to stop making the same mistake with NCDs!
This will mean more than holding governments and policy makers to account. Diverse stakeholders - including academia, civil society, and private sector, all have a role to play in strengthening accountability for both their own commitments and for actions of others which accelerate or obstruct NCD progress. Drawing on recommendations from civil society, UN agencies, and accountability experts, greater accountability actions across sectors can help bridge the accountability gap for progress on NCDs.
The lists below are illustrative of actions that different stakeholders can take to bridge the accountability gap for progress on NCDs, drawing on recommendations from civil society, UN agencies, and accountability experts. None of the lists are exhaustive and may change depending on new processes which may be established from time to time.
- Governments and Policy Makers
- Civil Society
- Private sector