The unmet need for family planning is partly due to insufficient investment in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The anticipated changes to global development financing presents threats and opportunities. Influencing this is critical if we are to fulfill the unmet need for family planning and ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
IPPF has been advocating with global and national partners to ensure that sustainable financing is increased.
Empowering clients' voices
There has been increased attention to rights-based family planning in recent years, particularly since the London Summit on Family Planning's goal of reaching 120 million new FP users by 2020. Reproductive Health Uganda are partnering with the Evidence Project and Sustainable Networks Project (SIFPO II IPPF) to establish the Right-Based Approach to Family Planning Index to measure adherence to rights-based family planning at the service delivery level. This can be extended to the policy, community and individual levels.
Building a global movement
The IPPF advocacy grants facility provides up to $25,000 to national CSOs advocates in Africa, Arab World, Central Asia, South Asia, South East and East Asia and Pacific region working to in the ICPD beyond 2014 and post-2015 processes.
Global policy is the aggregate of national policies and position, so this fund seeks to support and mobilise national and regional partners. Many small civil society organizations lack the resources to engage in global policy influencing and these seed funds provide an opportunity for national organizations to have their voices heard.
IPPF conducts research into how accountability mechanisms, such as increasing client feedback, can increase contraceptive use.
We have a long tradition of civil society participation in programme planning, design and implementation. This ensures that health needs are met and that governments and service providers meet their commitments. We do this by tracking donor commitments; national programme implementation and service delivery outcomes.
We are able to amplify the impact of partners’ efforts. By better ‘connecting the dots’ and adopting a system-wide approach to accountability we can influence how policies are implemented and, ultimately, bring about systemic change.
European civil society uses expenditure tracking data to hold governments accountable to their international family planning commitments.
INNOVATION: Since 2009, the Countdown 2015 Europe Consortium, led by IPPF European Network, has been gathering data on policy and financial family planning and reproductive health expenditure in 12 European donor countries. Consortium partners have first-hand knowledge of their local settings, and wanted to place financial trends within this wider context to match policy commitments from their governments with funding allocations - a key component of advocacy and accountability. A dedicated web-based platform collates financial and policy data, allowing it to be changed in real time. It tracks the past year’s financial expenditure and helps with future budget planning.
IMPACT: This process of collecting data, aligned to national reporting and coding systems, not only allows civil society organizations to monitor the most up-to-date and nationally-owned data available, but also to build contacts with various government departments.
This allows effective monitoring and fast action when policy commitments do not match expenditures on family planning and reproductive health. This approach has also led to enhanced citizen engagement in health budget consultations and a focus on family planning budgets.
Joining Voices: collecting evidence to track government action
The London Summit on Family Planning culminated in a series of pledges, with donor and recipient countries committing to increasing financial and political support for family planning by 2020. To date, over 30 countries in Africa and Asia have now made FP2020 commitments. However, without civil society engaging in accountability, ensuring that family planning remains a priority on the national and international agenda, government commitments may slip. IPPF’s Joining Voices project plays an important role in supporting global civil society on family planning advocacy, helping to ensure that governments in the South deliver on their FP2020 commitments.
INNOVATION: A set of user-friendly accountability tools has been developed in partnership with civil society organizations. The pledging tool tracks government progress on meeting pledges under the three key commitments: policy/political, programme/service delivery and financial. With this tool, organizations identify gaps and provide insight on what governments should do to improve their commitments.
The pledge tracking tool enables civil society to take steps to address the needs of vulnerable groups and work collaboratively with other organizations on a shared advocacy agenda for improved accountability. The tool gives civil society the power to monitor government progress. It is user-friendly and allows organizations to collaborate and devise practical tactics to increase access to voluntary family planning.
For youth, by youth — Improving healthcare in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic young people are often discriminated against in public health clinics or simply denied services. As a result, our Member Association is changing the way young people receive sexual and reproductive health services.
INNOVATION: PROFAMILIA enlisted and trained youth volunteers to find out how accessible healthcare services were to young people. The volunteers audited five public clinics by interviewing staff and clients and observing the facilities. They saw extensive room for improvement — for instance, some centers had no emergency contraception or a separate space in which to attend to youth — and delivered recommendations to the government.
IMPACT:The project was a success: not only did the government implement the recommendations, it began to use PROFAMILIA’s methodology to monitor its own programs.
“We were able to interact with decision makers in health and education to implement programs that prevent adolescent pregnancy, and improve sexuality and reproductive education,” says Catherine Adames, a youth auditor who works at PROFAMILIA. “From a youth perspective, this audit was a [journey] of knowledge and empowerment.”