Canadian parliamentarians visit Indonesia to realise their role of promoting impactful development policy for maternal and child health
In August 2016, Canadian Members of Parliament Pam Damoff, Brenda Shanahan and Dr. Doug Eyolfson joined RESULTS Canada staff on a parliamentary delegation to Indonesia. The objective of the delegation was to give Canadian parliamentarians an opportunity to see firsthand the impact of Canadian aid on improving access to health for the poorest and most vulnerable. During four days of site visits and meetings, the delegation was able to observe not only the barriers that many face in accessing health in Indonesia but also the role that Canada can play in promoting impactful development policy in middle income countries such as Indonesia. The delegation focused its observations in the areas of child health, including nutrition and vaccines, maternal health, and infectious disease, primarily tuberculosis.
Emerging middle income countries such as Indonesia face a unique set of challenges. Indonesia is the largest economy in the Asia Pacific and has seen its gross national income steadily rise, from $560 in 2000 to $3,373 in 2015. Despite its economic successes Indonesia still struggles to provide essential health services to large swathes of its population. Health indicators also vary widely throughout the country, indicating that equity is an issue and certain populations are not able to access services.
- Canadian development policy should deliberately target policies and funding at the poorest, wherever they are.
- Canada must embed the cross-cutting drivers of inequity–gender, geography and income across development policy.
- Canada should play a central role in the global push for Universal Health Coverage, including health systems strengthening and human resources for health.
- Canada should use its influence with multilateral organizations to ensure need and disease burden are integrated in eligibility criteria as opposed to simply GNI.
- Canada should leverage its technical expertise in taxation, public expenditure management and oversight to help implementing countries increase their domestic resource mobilization.