The Leave No One Behind partnership is growing at both the country and global level. The partnership has launched coalitions in two new countries: Malawi and Denmark. At the global level, the partnership is excited for HelpAge International—a worldwide alliance standing up for the rights of older people— to join as a global member organisation.
In Malawi, a cross-sector coalition including the national planning commission is co-led by three civil society organisations: CARE Malawi, the Centre for Social Accountability & Transparency (CSAT) and Plan International Malawi. The coalition is currently finalising plans for their first data project. The country team’s inaugural project aims to make young peoples’, girls’ and women’s voices heard and count in Malawi.
Denmark is the first country from the Global North joining the Leave No One Behind partnership, in a coalition led by ActionAid Denmark. This marks an important milestone for the project since the Sustainable Development Goals are often perceived as primarily being relevant for countries in the Global South. However, some marginalised communities in northern countries, such as older people, refugees and people with disabilities, can also be left behind due to underreporting—resulting in public policies and services that do not account for the needs of marginalised populations.
HelpAge International was a collaborator on the report An Unequal Pandemic earlier this year and now formally joins the Leave No One Behind partnership. Official data on older people is often sparse or ignored in the design of policies and programs, including most recently in pandemic response planning. Civil society organisations focusing on the rights of older people work to fill these gaps, including many of the members of the HelpAge Global Network spanning 86 countries.
The newly formed coalitions in Malawi and Denmark, and HelpAge International’s expertise on older people’s needs will undoubtedly enrich and further diversify the Leave No One Behind partnership’s work to make voices heard and count.