The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). These results indicate a serious corruption problem. To address these challenges, Transparency International recommends that governments integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from their responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty. It also advocates stricter implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, the only global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption.
Governance and participation in health
According to this review, the achievements of African governments on political and economic governance, and peace and security have been an important factor in helping the continent weather the impact of the crisis over 2009–2010. Improvements to macroeconomic frameworks have created the fiscal space for counter-cyclical policies, which have helped partly to cushion the impact of the crisis and provide a foundation for recovery. Improvements in political governance have helped to maintain political stability in the face of economic shocks. External financial support has held up in the face of fiscal pressures, even if at a level below earlier commitments. And trade is recovering dramatically, enabled in part by success in resisting protectionism during the crisis, even though discussions on further trade liberalisation on a global basis remain stalled. At the same time, the impact of the crisis has still been severe. Although the picture varies significantly by sub-region, growth rates for the continent as a whole fell from an average of about 6% in 2006–2008 to 2.2% in 2009, meaning that the growth of per capita gross domestic product came to a near standstill. Although forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are more positive, the loss of growth in 2009 and its impact over the next two to three years have set back the impressive progress that Africa had started to make towards the Millennium Development Goals, and has left the legacy of significantly greater challenges over the five-year period remaining, to 2015. The review makes nine recommendations. Recommendations for Africa itself include improved political and economic governance, working towards peace and security, increased regional integration, and domestic revenue mobilisation and allocation. For Africa’s partners, the paper recommends improvements in economic governance, and greater trade and official development assistance. Global recommendations include addressing climate change and climate change finance, as well as enhanced participation in global governance for Africa.
At the Regional Meeting of Parliamentary Committees on Health in Eastern and Southern Africa, held in Kampala, Uganda, on 28-29 September 2010, the Southern and East African Parliamentary Alliance of Committees On Health (SEAPACOH) committed themselves to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Maputo Plan of Action and the Accra Agenda for Aid Effectiveness. SEAPACOH underscored its role in offering leadership to ensure good governance in all matters of health, as well as to continue providing stewardship on policy, legislation and budgetary oversight, and ensure that family planning and population issues are integrated into national development strategies, including the poverty reduction strategies and action plans. It also championed advocacy strategies to promote family planning as essential to the achievement of all MDGs, especially MDG4 and MDG5, in partnership with civil society organizations and the media, and promote gender equity. In terms of financing, SEAPACOH will advocate for increased government resources to health to realise the Abuja target of 15%, ensure accountability in public expenditures and continue support for strengthening health systems. It also aims to enhance partnerships with civil society organisations and learn from the best practices in countries in the region through South-South cooperation.
Volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations around the world celebrated International Volunteer Day on 5 December in order to increase recognition of the contribution of volunteerism to peace and development. International Volunteer Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 1985. Since then volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations have joined with governments, NGOs, UN agencies and other partners to celebrate volunteerism and lay the ground for future activities. Yet volunteerism remains under-recognised and under-utilised as a resource for development, lamented the UN Secretary-General in his message this year. He urged all to continue to make every effort to raise awareness, measure impact and recognise that their efforts are making a positive difference.
Mitchell Sutika Sipus is an urban planning advisor to the Mayor of Mogadishu. He also lives and works in Kabul, Afghanistan. Here he writes about the rebuilding of Mogadishu’s physical infrastructure and the need for ‘psychological healing’ amongst the residents of the city. He writes of the initiation of trauma workshops for residents. Rebuilding the physical landscape is only part of the struggle. How can the city heal psychologically? Mogadishu's deputy mayor, Iman Icar, believes that to transform the city it is essential to transform the minds of residents. The mayor set up a new initiative to provide training in trauma healing and reconciliation for 50 people in each district. On July 19, 2012, the program concluded with a grand ceremony attended by President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The first 800 graduates will train another group of 800. In a city of three million, 1600 people may not be much, but it is argued to be a ripple in the pond that, with continued effort and support, will grow ever wider.
Accountability in global health is a commonly invoked though less commonly questioned concept. Critically reflecting on the concept and how it is put into practice, this paper focuses on the who, what, how, and where of accountability, mapping its defining features and considering them with respect to real-world circumstances. Changing dynamics in global health cooperation - such as the emergence of new health public-private partnerships and the formal inclusion of non-state actors in policy making processes - provides the backdrop to this discussion. In mapping some defining features, accountability in global health cooperation is shown to be a complex problem not necessarily reducible to one set of actors holding another to account. Clear tensions are observed between multi-stakeholder participatory models and more traditional vertical models that prioritise accountability upwards to donors, both of which are embodied in initiatives like the Global Fund. For multi-constituency organisations, this poses challenges not only for future financing but also for future legitimacy.
The Paris Declaration flags civil society organisations as potential participants in identifying priorities and monitoring development programmes. But it does not recognise them as development actors in their own right, with their own priorities, programmes and partnership arrangements and fails to take into account the rich diversity of social interveners in democratic societies. Human rights principles and standards should be upheld and promoted to achieve Paris Declaration targets and indicators, including scaling up aid, reorganisation of partner countries’ institutions, procedures and national priorities, and meaningful and inclusive citizen-based ownership. As nationally determined priorities become the centerpiece of development assistance, it becomes critical to assess which processes are needed to negotiate them and how legitimate and transparent such processes need be. This requires a focus on the quality of relationships between citizens and states, and the associated processes and mechanisms fundamental to achieving meaningful and inclusive national ownership.
There is a long history of advocacy to place non-communicable diseases higher on the global public health agenda. Although attempts have been made and action is well under way, there is still no co-ordinating mechanism that helps identify action, tracks progress, and stimulates multistakeholder collaboration while preventing duplication of efforts. The September 2011 United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases and the call by all parties for more efficient responses to the growing problems of non-communicable diseases presents a unique opportunity to create an institutional mechanism that incentivises coordination. The authors argue that an apex coordinating arrangement would allow efficient global information exchange, mapping existing gaps in action, and identifying and catalysing collaboration across sectors and regions of the world.
We representatives of diverse civil society groups gathered in Johannesburg, affirm the value of the process of the Earth Summit, but we disassociate ourselves with deep concern from the outcomes of the world summit on Sustainable Development. We are alarmed that the governments of the world continue to show a tragic unwillingness to translate the RIO principles into concrete action and to display an appalling lack of determination to commit themselves to the objectives of Agenda 21. Instead they have shown an irresponsible subservience to corporate led globalisations and have made attempts to role back the commitments they reached in Rio.
With an estimated population of 1.1 million, Maputo is the most densely populated city in Mozambique. The city is sharply divided into two areas: ’the cement city’, or the old colonial centre with paved roads and high-rise buildings, and the bairros – largely underserved, congested areas that house the majority of the city’s population. Situated on the Indian Ocean, the city is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as cyclones, flooding and sea level rise. Poverty and inequality, which are concentrated in the bairros, further exacerbate climate change vulnerabilities in the city. Chamanculo C is one such bairro where vulnerabilities have become evident during recent flood events. Responding to the urgent need to address urban deprivation, the municipality is currently implementing a neighbourhood upgrading programme in a participatory manner in Chamanculo C.