Accountability for the Health and
Human Rights of Women, Children
and Adolescents in the 2030 Agenda


In line with the mandate from the UN Secretary-General, every year the IAP issues a report that provides an independent snapshot of progress on delivering promises to the world’s women, children and adolescents for their health and well-being. Recommendations are included on ways to help fast-track action to achieve the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016–2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals - from the specific lens of accountability, of who is responsible for delivering on promises, to whom, and how.

The theme of this year’s report is where’s the accountability to adolescents? Adolescents are 1.2 billion strong. They hold the central promise for achieving the equitable, sustainable world we all want.


The IAP report calls for swift paradigm shifts to transform accountability to propel progress forward for humanity under the Global Strategy and the SDGs. It also underscores that without independent accountability and citizen engagement, there can be no genuine accountability, and promises lose their meaning.

The report is an urgent call on all stakeholders to make adolescents visible, to count them in, and to invest in them now. Accountability to adolescents is fragile and needs special attention. It needs to be strengthened, including by engaging young people in decision-making as key informants and experts, to ensure effective policies and investments that deliver for and with them.

Throughout this report, the IAP applies its accountability framework – monitor, review, act and remedy.

The report has two main chapters:

Chapter 2 Monitoring the Global Strategy: hits or misses?

“Monitoring the Global Strategy: hits or misses?” looks at how monitoring progress for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health could be improved. The IAP zeros in on equity and the data gaps that keep adolescents and especially disadvantaged communities hidden from policy radars. The report also explores ways to make better use of existing data and broadening the sources of information used in monitoring, to reveal inequities and get policies and interventions right for adolescents and other people being left behind.

Chapter 3 Recommendations to transform accountability

“Recommendations to transform accountability” is where the six recommendations for strengthening accountability and action are presented. They emphasize the importance of moving forward on accountability, while continuing to improve data and monitoring, especially at national and local levels where it matters most for the poorest and most marginalized members of society. Recommendations are guided by human rights, equity and ethical principles to strengthen delivery and accountability of the promises made by the Every Woman Every Child community – with a focus on adolescents.

Where’s the accountability
to adolescents?


Developed from a review of evidence and stakeholder testimony and contributions, the 2017 report centres on accountability to adolescents as well as broader measures for accelerating progress on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, with a focus on equity.

Recommendations are addressed to the range of stakeholders dedicated to fulfilling the Global Strategy and SDGs aspirations—Member States, United Nations agencies, donors, civil society and the private sector. Themes covered include cross-sectoral approaches for adolescent health, demographic dividends, the role of educational systems, universal health coverage, oversight mechanisms for health and human rights, reforming development cooperation, young people’s participation and their empowerment in the digital age.


Leverage accountability for the Global Strategy and the SDGs

1.1Lock in accountability for Every Woman Every Child commitments

1.2Reduce overlaps and duplication among global partners


Make adolescents visible and measure what matters

Ensure reporting and use of disaggregated data on adolescents

Develop an adolescent health and well-being index

Institute independent accountability at all levels


Foster whole-of-government accountability to adolescents

3.1Harness demographic dividends by focusing on adolescents and gender equality

3.2Make schools work for adolescents’ well-being

3.3Ensure effective oversight institutions


Make universal health coverage work for adolescents

4.1Provide a package of essential goods and services for adolescents, including mental health and prevention of non-communicable diseases

4.2Ensure that all adolescents have free access to essential goods and services


Boost accountability for investments, including for adolescents’ health and well-being

5.1Increase resources and adopt adolescent-responsive budgeting

5.2Strengthen accountability of development cooperation partners, including of members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC)


Unleash the power of young people

6.1Ensure young people’s meaningful participation, move away from tokenism

6.2Empower the e-Generation to seize the full potential of the digital age


In response to the IAP’s Call for Evidence to inform the contents of this report, we received contributions from a range of stakeholders, including case studies on national policy and programme developments, emerging data and evaluation findings, and promising examples of accountability at work from local to global levels. Some individuals and organizations also responded generously to our requests for targeted analyses and surveys, or undertook their own stakeholder consultations to feed into this report. The IAP expresses its warmest appreciation to all of you as we join together in getting accountability right for the world’s women, children and adolescents.