Daniel Stewart

G7 Accountability Working Group Report

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The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.  

The Accountability Working Group (AWG) are responsible for holding G7 members to account for the progress they make against their international development-related commitments. As part of the UK’s presidency of the G7 in 2021 the AWG, asked that a report be prepared looking at progress against G7 global health commitments, particularly in the light of the early lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The project gave me the opportunity to work collaboratively alongside another Registrar, consultants, and colleagues from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. We were reporting on a regular basis to the AWG itself, a formal group which was comprised of representatives from each of the G7 countries and who provided feedback on the overall direction the report took. We had six weeks to produce the report, which meant that the work was intense and very focussed. The project involved desk research, interviews with subject matter experts, data analysis and some very careful drafting and re-drafting to ensure the findings we presented were both robust but acceptable to G7 members.  

The AWG report’s key finding was that G7 partners had made good progress against their development and health related commitments since 2015. Given the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, there continues to be a good case for G7 partners to support Global Health Security, universal health coverage and health systems strengthening, particularly working in collaboration with low and lower-middle income countries. The report, which can be found here, was presented on behalf of the AWG at a health ministerial meeting held shortly before the Carbis Bay G7 meeting, and fed in to the agreements and priorities set at the Carbis Bay G7 meeting. 

Drafting the AWG report was a great opportunity to put my public health training and skills, including my quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, team working and leadership, in to practice on a high-profile piece of work. The time scale, and degree of uncertainty introduced in needing to satisfy the competing interests of the AWG members through drafting the report were challenging. However, the opportunity to work alongside a wide range of partners across Government and internationally, and to feed in to G7 discussions around their commitment to supporting global health was very satisfying.