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Launched in 2012, the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) movement aims to expand voluntary, high-quality family planning services to 120 million additional women and girls by 2020. Yet as FP2020 reaches its halfway point, gains thus far fall short of aspirations. To consider how scarce donor resources could go farther to accelerate progress, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened the Working Group on Alignment in Family Planning in fall 2015. A final report is expected in November 2016.
In July 2012, world leaders gathered in London to support the right of women and girls to make informed and autonomous choices about whether, when, and how many children they want to have. There, low-income country governments and donors committed to a new partnership – Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) – an aspirational goal – 120 million new users of voluntary, high-quality family planning services by 2020 – and $4.6 billion of additional funding.
Since then, 24.4 million women and girls have become users of modern contraceptives, 6.4 million more than would be expected based on historical trends. Yet as FP2020 reaches its halfway point and new, even more ambitious goals are set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, actual increases in contraceptive usage fall short of projected progress. The midpoint of the FP2020 initiative is thus an important inflection point, offering an opportunity to take stock of progress, refine funding and accountability mechanisms, and reallocate existing resources for greater impact. While primary responsibility for expanding contraceptive access will fall squarely on country governments, donor contributions will also play an important role; in many countries, including Nigeria, for example, donors finance the lion’s share of family planning program budgets.
With the goal of better allocating scarce donor funds to reach as many women and girls as possible by 2020, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened the Working Group on Alignment in Family Planning in fall 2015. Drawing from original empirical research and country case studies in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, the Working Group is considering the following questions:
What are the criteria and processes used by donors to allocate family planning resources across countries? Does the resulting distribution of funding align to different measures of country need?
Within countries, to what extent are the FP2020 Costed Implementation Plans (CIPs) and other coordination platforms helping to align donor and government funding behind the most effective interventions? How can the CIPs be improved to serve as more useful operational documents?
To what extent have FP2020 mechanisms succeeded in aligning procurement systems and supply chains for family planning commodities? Are there opportunities for greater efficiencies, or potential risks to supply security?
What is the incentive and accountability environment for family planning programs? Could donors create better incentives for domestic resource mobilization and service delivery quality?
Working group meetings were held on September 15, 2015 in Washington D.C., and March 22-23, 2016 in London. Working group members served in their personal capacities. A final report is anticipated for November 2016.
Working Group Members
Julia Bunting, The Population Council
Hannah Cameron, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lester Coutinho, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Laura Dickinson, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Priya Emmart, Avenir Health
Margot Fahnestock, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Victoria Fan, University of Hawaii
Caitlin Feurey, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Senait Fisseha, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Meena Gandhi, United Kingdom Department for International Development
Rifat Hasan, The World Bank
Jane Hobson, United Kingdom Department for International Development
Rolla Khadduri, MannionDaniels
Rosanna Kim, United Kingdom Department for International Development
Tamara Kreinin, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Joshua Lozman, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Andrew Mirelman, University of York
Grethe Petersen, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Scott Radloff, PMA2020
Jessica Schwartzman, FP2020
Beth Schlachter, FP2020
Rachel Silverman, Center for Global Development
Ellen Starbird, United States Agency for International Development
Alexandra Todd, United States Agency for International Development
The new US administration may put US funding for family planning—comprising nearly half of all bilateral contributions—at risk. The family planning community still has time to make the case for sustained US funding, protecting the gains that it has already achieved. But smart advocacy should also be accompanied by contingency planning—what would it mean for the United States (US) to substantially cut its support?
In July 2012, world leaders gathered in London to support the right of women and girls to make informed and autonomous choices about whether, when, and how many children they want to have. There, low income-country governments and donors committed to a new partnership—Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). Since then, the focus countries involved in the FP2020 partnership have made significant progress. Yet as FP2020 reaches its halfway point, and new, even more ambitious goals are set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, gains fall short of aspirations.
CGD’s new report on family planning, Aligning to 2020: How the FP2020 Core Partners Can Work Better, Together, offers three big recommendations for donors on the path to 2020. They are laid out in greater detail later in this blog, but in brief we urge donors to be more strategic and collaborative in how resources area allocated at the national level; we would like to see stronger incentives developed and rolled out for co-financing and performance; and we encourage greater accountability and learning across the results chain.
The Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative hit its midpoint this year, about four years after its launch by global health leaders in 2012. Set up to “expand access to family planning information, services, and supplies to an additional 120 million women and girls in 69 of the world’s poorest countries by 2020,” the initiative has faced the usual cat herding challenges that go along with its expansive mandate to recruit new funding commitments, track actual spending, coordinate donors and country actions, report on trends in contraceptive prevalence and other FP2020 goals, serve as a clearinghouse for data and knowledge, work with countries to do better planning, and serve as a global voice and advocate.
More than 5000 international personalities and technical experts are wrapping up the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen this week. The topic: how to empower women, reduce gender inequality, and improve the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls in low- and middle-income countries. Family planning and reproductive health commodities are central to this broader agenda. Yet according to our onsite sources, the conference has barely (if at all) remarked on the funding cuts that UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has experienced since last year.
Five thousand researchers, practitioners, advocates and others are descending on Copenhagen for Women Deliver, the largest conference focused on the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls. Much of what will be discussed aligns with CGD’s own work through our global health policy and gender and development programs, so we’re pleased to be attending and below, we’re pleased to share with you a few of the conference areas where we can add our voice.
Theory and some empirical evidence suggest the two goals – reproductive rights for women and women’s economic empowerment – are connected: reproductive rights should strengthen women’s economic power. But our understanding of the magnitude of the possible connection and the nature of any causal link (vs. coevolution or reverse causation) in different times and places is limited. In this note we summarize what we know up to now and what more we could learn about that connection, and set out the data requirements and methodological challenges that face researchers and policymakers who want to better understand the relationship.
This paper reviews empirical evidence on the micro-level consequences of family planning programs in middle- and low-income countries. In doing so, it focuses on fertility outcomes (the number and timing of births), women’s health and socio-economic outcomes, and children’s health and socio-economic outcomes throughout the life cycle. In practice, family planning programs may only explain a modest share of fertility decline in real-world settings, and may also have quantitatively modest - but practically meaningful - effects on the socio-economic welfare of individuals and families.