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Ensuring Southern input on global action

June 10, 2016

The voices and experience of developing country researchers are too often missing when international donors and decision-makers gather to address global health issues. Strengthening capacity and creating space for Southern expertise is one of IDRC’s most important contributions.

In 2011, a United Nations commission was struck to address the lack of affordable and effective treatment, tools, and medical supplies for addressing maternal and child health. To ensure input from regions most affected by these gaps, IDRC supported developing-country case studies and the participation of five Southern-based commissioners.

Published in 2012, the Report of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children endorsed 13 life-saving products that it calculates could save more than 6 million lives if widely accessed and properly used.  Recognizing the broader challenges many low-income countries face – in governance, human resources, supply chains, and information systems – the Commission called for 10 specific actions to be linked with other initiatives to strengthen overall health systems. Making these connections is vital, as commodities are just one small part of what a strong health system should provide.

Learn more about IDRC-supported research on maternal health