But as we celebrate these advances, we also note the ways in which we’re still falling short. Unless we speed up progress now, we will not fulfill our promise to women and girls for 2020, and our 2030 goals will be even further out of reach. Today’s 300 million users of modern contraception is an extraordinary milestone, and testament to decades of dedicated work by the health and development sectors. But not all of our efforts to expand voluntary family planning are producing the results expected; not all of the women and girls we’ve pledged to reach are being served. These are the challenges we must confront in the second half of our journey.
A recurring theme throughout this report is what we can do better—whether that means strengthening a platform, broadening an evidence base, or expanding a service component. In the continuing spirit of the London Summit, we invite the entire family planning community to join us in this dialogue. What can we—all of us—do better? Looking ahead, we suggest three key areas of focus:
Accountability: What can we do to build better accountability mechanisms into our work, from tracking investments to assessing the impact of specific programs? How can we strengthen donor and government accountability for resource allocation, commodity security, and rights-based programming? On an individual level, what can each of us do in our institutional capacities to deliver on our commitments?
Partnerships: How can we coordinate more strategically and efficiently to support country objectives and tackle challenges that persist throughout the sector? How can we be more innovative in our partnering, stepping outside our silos to ensure that voluntary family planning reaches the most marginalized populations? How can donors be more effective partners to countries and in better alignment with each other?
Youth: What can we do to keep our promise to the world’s young people? How can we translate increased country and donor commitment to youth into evidence-based programs at scale in both the public and private health sectors? How can we meaningfully partner with young people to deliver high-quality contraceptive services that meet their diverse needs and circumstances?
These are not questions that any one organization or country can answer alone. They will require the energy and cooperation of leaders, experts, advocates, and implementers throughout our global community. But that, too, is in the spirit of the London Summit.
Together we have already achieved great progress; together we can achieve even more. Our journey is not yet finished. The promise we made in London four years ago is still compelling, still urgent, and still unfulfilled. Millions of women and girls are waiting.