Core Convener Commitments
The Core Conveners of the FP2020 initiative are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations Population Fund, and the US Agency for International Development. FP2020 is hosted by the United Nations Foundation.
BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed to investing more than US$1 billion in family planning, doubling its investment from US$70 million a year to US$140 million a year for eight years. The Gates Foundation is on track to exceed this commitment, investing US$133.6 million in 2013 and US$156 million in 2014.
In recognition of the need to accelerate the rate of progress toward the FP2020 goal, the Gates Foundation will increase its financial commitment by about 25% over the next three years. New investments will focus on three areas that were determined after a careful review of the most recent data, evidence, and the foundation’s own core strengths:
- Catalyzing the growth and quality of family planning service provision in the private sector through an infusion of working capital to social marketing organizations
- Incentivizing the scale-up of proven interventions that improve family planning outcomes among the urban poor
- Scaling successful advocacy efforts in priority FP2020 countries to build stronger political will, increase stakeholder alignment, and ensure resources are available to support successful and sustainable family planning programs
The Gates Foundation will also make a major new investment around a learning agenda for adolescents and youth. This investment will place adolescents at the center of the design, research, and implementation process to develop family planning solutions that meet their unique needs. Promising solutions will be brought to scale in partnership with ministries of health and local partners, leveraging local networks and service delivery channels where possible.
By cultivating high-level political leadership in support of countries’ FP2020 commitments, the Gates Foundation and its grantees work with governments to expand access to family planning. In Nigeria, the foundation is supporting the government to implement the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint, scale up high-impact family planning approaches, and develop supply chain solutions in Lagos and Kaduna states. In Pakistan, the foundation is supporting Pathfinder International to work with ministers in Sindh and Punjab provinces to develop provincial costed implementation plans for family planning.
In DR Congo, Gates Foundation grantee Advance Family Planning (AFP) worked with partners to garner high-level commitment to family planning from the country’s top leadership, resulting in unprecedented subsequent changes in the policy environment. In the two years since committing to FP2020 in 2013, the government has significantly improved access to family planning services and contraceptives through national policy and funding commitments.
In Uganda, AFP is also working with partners to fulfill President Yoweri Museveni’s ambitious pledge at the 2012 London Summit. Three years later, the president’s leadership and the collective efforts of government, implementing partners, civil society, and donors have carried forward those commitments into concrete, positive changes. In July 2014, the president opened the country’s first national family planning conference by favorably endorsing family planning as a key pillar for the social and economic transformation of Uganda. The Gates Foundation’s advocacy partners supported the participation of both high-level and district-level leaders in the conference, mobilizing them to renew their commitments to family planning and construct a road map to achieve them. The country’s costed implementation plan was launched four months later.
The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) plays a leading role in the global FP2020 initiative, and also directly supports family planning programs in 18 focus countries. Much of this support involves strengthening health systems to deliver high-quality service and working with communities to publicize the benefits of family planning. Some country programs operate in fragile settings, such as Pakistan, and in hard-to-reach areas, such as a project to reach pastoral women in Ethiopia. Other programs—in India, for example—work with the private sector. The UK has long pushed the international community to break the silence on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning. While much more remains to be done, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zambia now have DFID-supported programs specifically targeted at young people, and there is an increasing focus on addressing the social barriers to contraceptive uptake, including discrimination against young or unmarried women.
Apart from country-level work, the UK supports family planning through a number of global programs that explore innovative contracting approaches and focus on understanding markets, demand, and data. The UK is the largest donor (£356 million from 2013 to 2020) to UNFPA Supplies (formerly the Global Programme for Reproductive Health Commodity Security), which provides contraceptive commodities and supply system strengthening to 46 countries around the world. This program furnishes 27% of the global commodities required to meet the FP2020 goal of 120 million additional users of contraception. The UK also supports the market-shaping work of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
As part of its wider commitment to the FP2020 movement, in May 2015 DFID launched Action2020, a strategic accountability program in 10 countries (see box below).
Action2020 is a new 10-country accountability program to ensure that governments and service providers deliver on their FP2020 commitments with full, free, and informed family planning choice for everyone.
Action2020 is funded by the UK government and is being implemented by a consortium of civil society organizations, led by Christian Aid in partnership with Plan UK and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Technical support is provided by the Overseas Development Institute. The program is managed from Nairobi and will run in 10 countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Nepal.
Action2020 recognizes that strengthening civil society alone is insufficient to secure accountability; the responsiveness of governments and service providers must be enhanced as well. The program will focus on combining these strategies and on building stronger state-citizen space for political engagement.
The 10 Action2020 countries are currently in the process of conducting country context studies to identify key partners and develop strategic accountability packages. Program implementation is likely to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND
Since its founding in 1969, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has supported family planning in over 150 countries, ensuring that women and girls are able to make the choices that will allow them to fulfill their potential. UNFPA’s work in family planning is guided by its Choices not Chance strategy, which is based on principles of human rights, equity, nondiscrimination, national ownership, accountability, and innovation.
UNFPA works with national governments, civil society, and national institutions to build an enabling environment for family planning, increase demand and improve availability of quality contraceptives, and strengthen service provision and information systems. UNFPA support is provided through coordination and partnerships, advocacy and policy dialogue, procurement, capacity building, and knowledge management.
Since its founding in 1969, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has supported family planning in over 150 countries, ensuring that women and girls are able to make the choices that will allow them to fulfill their potential.
UNFPA Supplies (formerly the Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security) is UNFPA’s flagship commodity security program. UNFPA Supplies is one of the largest providers of donated contraceptives in the world, proving support to 46 countries. Since its launch in 2007, UNFPA Supplies has worked in partnership with countries to achieve tangible results: increasing the choice, quality, and availability of contraceptives, including for marginalized communities; and achieving efficiencies in procurement and the supply chain, with significant reductions in commodity prices and lead times.
In 2014, UNFPA spent US$334 million or 40.7% of its resources on family planning. Reflecting the crosscutting nature of family planning vis-à-vis the different areas of work covered by UNFPA’s mandate, this estimate includes all expenses that contribute to family planning–related results. US$93 million of these expenses were funded through core contributions, and US$241 million were funded through noncore contributions. Within the latter, US$185 million (or 55% of UNFPA’s overall FP expense) was funded through UNFPA Supplies. This highlights the importance of UNFPA Supplies toward meeting the FP2020 goal and the impact that a funding shortage could have on the achievement of that goal.
In 2015 UNFPA supported the government of Nepal in making its commitment to FP2020, following the launch of its first national costed implementation plan (CIP) on family planning. UNFPA is currently working with the government of Zimbabwe to develop a national family planning CIP, and in Nigeria UNFPA has convened a process to support the development and implementation of state-level CIPs. UNFPA also focuses on improving accountability for FP2020 commitments. In Zambia, for example, UNFPA helped develop a stringent monitoring and accountability framework—the FP annual scorecard—to track the government’s commitments and investments across the family planning scale-up plan.
Together with USAID and the IBP consortium, UNFPA is working with the FP2020 Country Engagement Working Group to develop a decision-making tool to support countries in prioritizing High Impact Practices (HIPs) in family planning in their CIPs.
UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the US government’s investment in international family planning programs. During these five decades, USAID has concentrated its efforts toward enabling couples to determine whether, when, and how often to have children, which is vital to promoting healthy and prosperous families, communities, and nations. USAID’s leadership has furthered the global conversation around family planning and strengthened programming for increased access to modern contraception worldwide. The agency’s innovative approaches have created one of the greatest success stories in sustainable foreign assistance.
USAID works closely with governments and civil society partners to advance FP2020 at the country level. USAID has helped develop costed implementation plans for family planning in seven countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership in francophone West Africa. In Burkina Faso, the Ministry of Health increased financial support to the costed implementation plan by allocating US$961,000 in the national budget to purchase contraceptives—the first country in the area to take such a bold stance. Mauritania announced that for the first time the government was allocating US$51,000 for the purchase of contraceptives. And Niger made a commitment to allocate US$385,000 in the national budget for the purchase of contraceptives. While more investment is needed to meet overall need for contraception in these countries, these resources are visible evidence of the governments’ commitment to expanding access and use.
Ensuring access to a full range of contraceptive methods is critical for the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and for addressing unmet demand for family planning. USAID is a major supplier of family planning commodities globally, and in fiscal year 2014 shipped US$85.6 million worth of contraceptives. USAID’s innovative public-private partnership with Bayer HealthCare has almost doubled the distribution of a low-cost, fully commercially sustainable, oral contraceptive product in seven sub-Saharan African markets.
USAID also supports the development of new and improved contraceptive methods. The SILCS diaphragm, a one-size-fits-most barrier method, received market clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration and is now available in 14 countries under the brand name Caya™. The novel design means that pelvic exams are not required for sizing and clinics will not need to stock multiple sizes. USAID and its partners also launched the first-ever clinical trial of an intravaginal ring engineered to prevent pregnancy as well as provide protection from HIV and herpes infections.
UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION
The United Nations Foundation is the hosting organization for the FP2020 initiative. The UN Foundation also serves as the advocacy and communications focal point for Every Woman Every Child, and leads communications and digital engagement for the movement. Through its Universal Access Project (UAP), the UN Foundation has spearheaded a number of innovative initiatives to bolster support for reproductive health, including the Why We Care project and a new Why We Care Youth contest. The UN Foundation’s support for the 2015 International Conference on Family Planning includes press fellowships, a grant to the Youth Pre-Conference, and hosting the CEO Emerging Leaders Roundtables.
The UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign focuses on empowering adolescent girls and building programs that give girls an equal chance for education, health, and social and economic opportunities. Since 2010 Girl Up has partnered with the UN Adolescent Girl Task Force on comprehensive pilot programs in Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia; in 2015 the initiative was expanded to India. The UN Foundation also supports the Girl Declaration Joint Advocacy Working Group, which works to ensure that adolescent girls are prioritized in global development frameworks and meaningfully included in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN Foundation is committed to championing the use of mobile technologies to improve health throughout the world. Through MAMA (the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action), the UN Foundation supports the provision of postpartum family planning messages to women through SMS messages. MAMA is currently working to integrate family planning messaging in its newest country program in Nigeria. This year the UN Foundation also provided grants in Tanzania and Kenya for the implementation of the Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) service, which is an automated, interactive, and on-demand SMS system that provides essential information about the full range of short-term and long-acting contraceptive methods.
In 2015 the UN Foundation entered a new partnership with UNFPA, Merck for Mothers, and Accenture Development Partnerships to expand private sector participation in family planning. The project has resulted in four commitments from businesses in the Philippines to provide access to family planning information and services for women in their workforces and communities.
The UK is very committed to the work of Family Planning 2020—access to rights-based, voluntary family planning is essential for girls and women to have voice, choice, and control across their lives. Family planning is also a great investment—every £1 spent on family planning can save governments up to £4 on healthcare spending, housing, water and other public services. It is great to see the progress we have made to date. But we need to work hard to reach the London Summit on Family Planning goal of providing an additional 120 million girls and women in the poorest countries with the ability to plan their families. If we act now, we can still reach this goal and be on the road to universal access by 2030. It is important that everyone steps up to help make that happen.
The Right Honourable Justine Greening
Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom