Organized by the Gates Institute, the session at the International Family Planning Conference on ‘South-South Exchange on Family Planning’ focussed on shared learning between countries on family planning needs and how to move beyond dialogue to action.
The questions facing the panel were: how can knowledge and experience sharing among South partners increase access to meet the need for family planning? How can the family planning sector work to strengthen the effectiveness and accountability of multilateral development banks? And how can the extension of the G20 and middle income countries’ development agenda best support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals?
Moderating, Tewodros Melesse mentioned the importance of the Ouagadougou Partnership in drawing increased capacity to an underserved region of Africa and highlighted the tremendous SRH vulnerabilities of Francophone Western Africa.
He drew attention to the success of IPPF’s African Regional Office approach to South-to-South learning through Member Association Learning Centre Models, as well as IPPF’s leadership in reviewing the Maputo Plan of Action, which will lead to a recommitment of the African Union to the Maputo Plan of Action in June 2016 at the AU Summit.
Tewodros also highlighted IPPF’s collaborations with China and UNFPA, and the work of IPPF’s humanitarian programme - SPRINT - enables South to South cooperation to work across different countries – wherever there’s a crisis – is a vehicle of some sort for supporting learning between countries for example on preparedness and coping with crises.
On the panel were Hongtao Hu, Commissioner, National Health and Family Planning Commission; Arie Hoekman, UNFPA Country Representative; Sahlu Haile, Senior Fellow, Packard Foundation; Baochang Gu, Professor, Renmin University.