Financial Flows

WHO/Christopher BlackMonitoring financial resource flows for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health is a central part of the Countdown — determining the funding gap between resources currently available and the actual investments required to reach national and MDG targets, and holding governments and the international community to account for investing adequately in the health of women and children. Policy-makers need financial information to make informed decisions on how to best allocate resources among competing needs, set priorities, and ensure sustainable funding for programs. The information should also be used to hold governments and their development partners accountable and ensure that adequate and sustainable funding is provided for RMNCH. Countdown’s Health Financing Working Group works to track and analyze these financial flows.

On this page, Countdown presents data and analysis relating to financial flows for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health. CD colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently published a dataset containing 2.1 million records used to generate estimates of official development assistance (ODA) to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) based upon donor, recipient country and activity type between 2003–2013. Disbursement information on donor-reported ODA and private grants were obtained from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System in January 2015 and coded based on donor name, project title, short and long descriptions, and CRS code describing the disbursement purpose. The Tableau visualization is here and the dataset is here. More of the Finance Working Group’s research is summarized in the Countdown Reports,and has been presented in more detail in the following articles published in The Lancet:

In addition, Countdown in September 2012 published a Briefing Note summarizing the most recent findings on international and domestic financial flows for maternal, newborn, and child health.

In Countdown sessions at the 2013 Women Deliver conference, members of the Finance Working Group presented recent research and analysis on financial flows for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health:

Justine Hsu, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

pdfDevelopment aid to reproductive health 2009-2010

Ravi Rannan-Eliya, Institute for Health Policy, Sri Lanka and Asia-Pacific National Health Accounts Network

pdfTracking resource flows for RMNCH in Asia-Pacific countries

Geir Lie, WHO

pdfHas health expenditure for women and children scaled up or scaled down in low and middle-income countries? — An analysis of reproductive health and child health subaccounts 

Dan Kraushaar, Management Sciences for Health and Henrik Axelson, PMNCH

pdfPerformance-based financing (PBF) to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5: What have we learned? 

Finance Working Group members also presented on the financial analysis component involved in conducting a Country Countdown:

pdfCountry Countdown: Health financing component

The financial data used in Countdown’s reports and profiles are publicly available, and can be downloaded here. For more information about Countdown’s datasets, please contact the Countdown Secretariat at