¿Qué Pasó Con Lo Firmado?: Measuring Success in the Region
In August 2008, at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, the health and education ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean signed a landmark declaration. The resulting agreement, Ministerial Declaration, “Preventing through Education,” set ambitious goals to expand young people's access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. To hold governments accountable to their commitments, we work in partnership with more than 40 civil society organizations as the Mesoamerican Coalition.
The Ministerial Declaration is a key instrument to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region, and facilitates synergy between the health and education government sectors and civil society. Four years after the agreement was signed, and just three years away from its intended completion, many young people in the region continue to face barriers to accessing comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services. In need of an advocacy tool to demonstrate country and regional levels of implementation, the Mesoamerican Coalition carried out an evaluation to determine the degree to which governments are meeting their commitments, and identify areas of opportunity.
At the midpoint for the target date of full implementation, the evaluation reveals important advancements and challenges. Six out of the eight Central American countries evaluated show levels of implementation that are near or above 50%, which means Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua are all on track for fulfilling their commitments. The two other countries, Panama and Belize, aren't fairing as well.
Although they face unique challenges to reaching their targets, Panama and Belize so show positive progress since the Mesoamerican Coalition's initial evaluation in 2010, and the overall level of progress across the region has increased by 13%. Our cross-country alliance to hold governments accountable is working. Together, we are ensuring that the promises of the Ministerial Declaration aren't allowed to be empty.