A Decade of Tracking Progress for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival: The 2015 Report

CDReport 2015 coverCountdown launched its 2015 Report on October 19, 2015, at the first Global Maternal & Newborn Health Conference, held in Mexico City.

The 2015 Report, A Decade of Tracking Progress for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival, includes an updated country profile for each of the 75 Countdown countries, which together account for more than 95% of the world’s maternal, newborn, and child deaths. This final Countdown to 2015 report begins with a summary of results from 2015 based on the data presented in those country profiles, and builds on a companion article that was published simultaneously in The Lancet. It examines trends in mortality and nutrition; intervention coverage (including inequality); financial flows to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; and supportive policy and systems measures. The report then assesses changes in data availability and their implications for program managers and decision makers. It concludes by turning a critical lens on the Sustainable Development Goals framework and future accountability efforts, drawing from Countdown’s 10 years of monitoring experience.

The 2015 Report shows that, although some health issues and some countries have seen considerable progress, important gaps remain that must not be forgotten in the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The headlines and data highlights from the 2015 Report can be viewed here.

Included in the 2015 Report:

  • A foreword by Graça Machel, Chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
  • Countdown headlines for 2015
  • Progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5
  • Countdown Country Case Studies—experiences and common themes
  • Intervention coverage is still too low for many interventions—and it matters!
  • What constitutes meaningful change in coverage?
  • Equity—targeting the underserved
  • Determinants of coverage and equity—policies, systems and financing
  • Important new data and secondary analyses on breastfeeding, family planning, antenatal care, and diarrhea case management
  • Tracking progress in coverage­—more and better data
  • Monitoring and accountability: how the Countdown experience can inform the Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Countdown country profile: a tool for action

Countdown’s 2015 Report can be downloaded below, either in its entirety or in its component parts:

Full Report 

pdfFull Report (including profiles) [10.7  MB]

pdfFull Report (without profiles) [6.8 MB]

Report Sections

pdfFront matter (cover – p. 4) [3.8 MB]

  • Foreword, Introduction, Headlines, acknowledgements, etc.

pdfPart 1 (pp. 5-26) [1.9 MB]

  • Progress towards MDGs 4 and 5: mortality, nutrition, coverage
  • Countdown country case studies
  • Family planning—reaching an unmet need
  • Breastfeeding: a life-saving practice with short- and long-term benefits
  • Intervention coverage still too low—and it matters!
  • What constitutes a meaningful change in coverage?
  • Tracking progress in coverage: more and better data
  • Unpacking use of antenatal care: services actually provided
  • Management of childhood diarrhea: targeted secondary analysis

pdfPart 2 (pp. 27-44) [0.7 MB]

  • Equity—targeting the underserved
  • How does equity change as coverage increases?
  • Determinants of coverage and equity—policies, systems and financing
  • What can tracking health systems and policy change contribute to understanding progress?
  • Positive policy change for maternal death notification; more action needed for stillbirths and neonatal deaths
  • Measuring quality of care: challenges and solutions
  • Official development assistance: 2013 updates
  • Financing for women’s and children’s health in Ethiopia and Peru
  • Monitoring and accountability: how the Countdown experience can inform the SDGs

Country profiles

Note: 2015 country profiles for individual countries (along with country profiles from earlier years) are available here.

Back matter

pdfBack matter (annexes, notes, references) [2.2 MB]


  • Annex A: About Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival
  • Annex B: Summary of Countdown data sources and analysis methods
  • Annex C: Country profiles indicators and data sources
  • Annex D: Definitions of Countdown coverage indicators
  • Annex E: Definitions of health policies, systems and finance indicators
  • Annex F: Technical annex for Health Systems and Policies Technical Working Group and Financing Technical Working Group
  • Annex G: Countdown countries prioritized for malaria intervention coverage analysis and vitamin A priority countries
  • Annex H: Details on estimates produced by interagency groups – mortality, immunization, and water and sanitation

The data and results used to construct Countdown’s reports and profiles are publicly available. Data for the 2015 Report and profiles will be available for download soon. For more information about Countdown’s datasets, please contact the Countdown Secretariat at info@countdown2015mnch.org. The most updated country data on the coverage indicators tracked in Countdown are available at data.unicef.org.