When countries invest in family planning, they are investing in their own future. Family planning is a transformational strategy that unleashes a cascade of benefits across sectors, leading to healthier and more prosperous women, children, families, and communities.
The evidence is clear: family planning is one of the most powerful and cost-effective investments a country can make in its development.12
FP2020 links countries with a global community of donors, advocates, and experts who are committed to expanding high-quality, rights-based family planning. The FP2020 initiative provides a broad platform of multisectoral support and cooperation as countries pursue their family planning objectives and maintain continuity with their existing development priorities. FP2020 also promotes South-South collaboration, encourages broader and more inclusive conversations between countries, and cultivates the engagement of all sectors at the country and global levels.
FP2020’s revised strategy for 2016–2020 calls for an increased level of direct country support to accelerate progress in the remaining four years of the initiative. Building on the achievements of the former Country Engagement Working Group and with the collaboration of partners at the global and national levels, FP2020 is facilitating technical support in all thematic areas of rights-based family planning programming: demand creation; service delivery and access; contraceptive security; policy and enabling environment; financing; and stewardship, management, and accountability.
FP2020’s focal points in each country include representatives from the government and two donor organizations, usually UNFPA and USAID. The focal points serve as the key representatives of FP2020 in-country, and coordinate with each other, the government, partners and other stakeholders, and the FP2020 Secretariat to drive progress on the country’s family planning goals.
Every 12–18 months, FP2020 will convene Regional Focal Point Workshops in Asia, Anglophone Africa, and Francophone Africa. A chief outcome of the workshop is each country delegation’s action plan, which is aligned with the national family planning strategy or costed implementation plan (CIP). The action plan identifies next steps over a 12–18 month horizon, and functions as a shared working agenda for the focal points and other partners.
The CIP is a longer-range document: a multiyear roadmap that identifies a country’s family planning goals, outlines strategies to achieve them, and estimates the cost of implementation. CIPs are country-owned documents that reflect the participation of numerous stakeholders, and serve as a vital tool to organize collaboration. All components of a country’s family planning program should be addressed and budgeted in the CIP, with activities prioritized under different funding scenarios. USAID, UNFPA, and other FP2020 partners provide technical assistance and resources to support CIP development.
The revised country support and workshop processes are still in the early stages and will be fine-tuned as needed, but the model is already showing great promise for fostering closer collaboration and alignment within the FP2020 partnership.
Global Financing Facility
The World Bank’s Global Financing Facility (GFF) for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents. The GFF’s long-term vision is to mobilize additional resources domestically and internationally to fill funding gaps for RMNCAH, and to improve the efficiency of spending over time. Eligible countries are asked to prepare an investment case, which describes proposed improvements in RMNCAH and a prioritized set of investments required to achieve these results.
Because family planning is globally recognized as a “best buy” for RMNCAH, the GFF provides a unique opportunity for countries to secure funding for strategic family planning programs. The family planning community has made a concerted push to ensure that family planning is included in the GFF business plan and investment frameworks, with uneven success. As the GFF is operationalized, continued advocacy is needed to make sure that family planning is prioritized appropriately, that civil society is fully engaged, and that accountability mechanisms are in place.
FP2020 is supporting focal points in GFF countries with the specific information, tools, and data they need to include family planning in their country investment cases. The 2016 Regional Focal Point Workshops included sessions devoted to GFF, and in February FP2020 partnered with USAID, UNFPA, and the World Bank to conduct a GFF webinar for FP2020 focal points.
LAC 2016 Conference
The Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) has some of the highest modern contraceptive prevalence rates among low and middle-income countries. Dramatic gains have been made since the 1990s, with governments, civil society, and the private sector partnering to increase demand for family planning and improve service delivery. But there are still significant social and geographic inequalities in access to contraception. Entire populations are being left behind, including those in rural settings and indigenous peoples. Young people also face steep obstacles to getting the services they need.
The first Latin America and Caribbean Conference to Reduce Inequalities in Sexual and Reproductive Health, held in Cartagena in September 2016, marked the start of a new movement to address these issues. Representatives from 22 governments and civil society organizations convened for three days of political and technical dialogue, centered on generating commitments and identifying implementation strategies to tackle the region’s most significant barriers to reaching marginalized populations.
FP2020 joined a coalition of partners in organizing the event, including ForoLAC, Profamilia, USAID, UNFPA, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, Management Sciences for Health, Jhpiego, the Inter-American Development Bank, John Snow, Inc., and Population Action International.
The conference provided an important opportunity for existing partnerships to be renewed and for new connections to be made. For several participants, it was their first chance to learn about FP2020 and the work underway in Africa and Asia. Numerous links were forged across sectors, with colleagues from governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector joining in discussions. The conference generated agreements on country and partner priorities and short-term action plans to take this critical work forward in the region.
2016 International Conference on Family Planning
The fourth International Conference on Family Planning was held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, in January 2016, drawing more than 3,000 participants from around the world. The theme was Global Commitments, Local Actions, with a strong focus on youth issues throughout—including a call to action from young people that their needs must be addressed as the key to sustainability in the SDG era. Programming tracks highlighted specific issues: youth needs and involvement; quality of care; the demographic dividend; advancing family planning through faith organizations; innovations in financing; advocacy and accountability; demand generation and social change; implementing best practices; and FP2020 progress and challenges.
FP2020 conducted the morning plenary on day 3 with the theme Accelerating Progress: 2016-2020. The conference also featured the launch of FP2020’s new strategic direction, a panel session on FP2020 data, and an #FPVoices storytelling booth. The conference set the stage for FP2020’s first Regional Focal Point Workshop in Asia, which convened immediately afterwards in Denpasar.
The 2016 ICFP was co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BKKBN).
12. Stenberg K, Axelson H, Sheehan P, Anderson I, Gülmezoglu AM, Temmerman M, et al. Study Group for the Global Investment Framework for Women's Children's Health. Advancing social and economic development by investing in women’s and children’s health: a new Global Investment Framework. Lancet. 2014;383(9925): 1333–1354.