Countdown’s History

Countdown to 2015 (CD2015) was established in 2003 as a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional collaboration, in response to a growing recognition that achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015 demanded radical changes to the scale and scope of effective measurement, evaluation and programming strategies.

In 2003, the Bellagio Lancet Child Survival Series helped raise global awareness of more than 10 million deaths occurring each year in children under age five, mainly from preventable conditions that rarely affect children in wealthy countries. In 2005 a second Lancet series focused on the approximately 4 million annual deaths among newborns. A common theme in these Lancet series was the call for a systematic mechanism to track progress in achieving high, sustainable, and equitable coverage with interventions proven to reduce child mortality — ‘coverage’ being defined as the proportion of individuals needing a service or intervention who actually receive it. The development of CD2015 came in response to this call.  From the beginning, The Lancet has been (and, along with The Lancet Global Health, continues to be) a key Countdown partner, frequently publishing articles and commentaries on Countdown data, analysis, and approaches.

A pioneering initiative in the use of data to foster accountability for women’s and children’s health, Countdown gathers, synthesizes, and analyzes data on intervention coverage; on the equity of coverage across socioeconomic status, gender, education, geography and other dimensions; and on the key policy, finance, and health system factors that are determinants of a country’s progress in expanding coverage and improving women’s and children’s lives.

To learn more about the work completed under Countdown to 2015, please click here.

Countdown to 2015 ended in October of 2015 with the launch of its 7th global report [links to CD2015 Report on archive page], and reopened as Countdown to 2030 (CD2030) in 2016 following the publication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.  Its main aims are to improve coverage measurement and monitoring, and strengthen­­ the regional and country capacity for evidence generation and use.  CD2015 occupied a unique and critically important niche during the MDG era, and CD2030 continues to do so in the SDG era, providing the independent monitoring and rigorous analysis that are crucial to accountability.