FROM THE Co-CAHAIRS
It may defy the rules of mathematics, but there is truth to the observation that a whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. This insight lies at the heart of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative. We believe that, under the right conditions, bringing together a broad, diverse group can yield results far greater than the participants would achieve on their own.
Last year, leaders from governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community converged at the London Summit on Family Planning to agree upon one extraordinary—but absolutely vital—goal: expand access to family planning information, contraceptives, and services to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries by the year 2020. Seventy commitments were made, and donors and the private sector pledged US$2.6 billion in new funding.
FP2020 carries forward the momentum of the Summit. It is not a new NGO, nor is it a vertical fund. Instead, it is a different way of working together: a creative network of cooperation that revolves around a hub to promote knowledge sharing and emergent thinking. Rather than duplicating efforts or pushing organizations into a new hierarchy, FP2020’s structure encourages partners to align their agendas, pool their talents, and utilize existing structures in new and complementary ways. One year after the Summit, we have successfully formed new alliances among a broad range of partners from all sectors. We must now hold ourselves accountable.
We believe that the family planning community’s greatest resource is the human energy of our diverse leaders, experts, advocates, and implementers. Some of the most exciting progress of the past year came from innovative partnerships that harnessed market incentives to solve formerly intractable problems. Millions of women in the world’s poorest countries will now have access to long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods thanks to the vision and dedication of colleagues representing governments, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, donors, and multilateral organizations.
Accurate, timely, accessible information is the lifeblood of this initiative. That’s why FP2020 is committed to expanding participation in the practices of measurement, evaluation, and adjustment, which for many countries are in their infancy. For the first time, this report documents the results of our collective effort to establish a measurement framework for the initiative. The indicators, methodologies, and data presented here will serve as the baseline to gauge our progress in future years. This is especially important because, though the world is spending more on family planning, funding is still inadequate. Budgets for international assistance have been cut and programs are under greater pressure than ever before. Through careful analysis we will diminish inefficiencies, leverage economies of scale, and focus on plans that work.
Expanding access to contraceptives for an additional 120 million women and girls will require the equivalent of US$4.3 billion over the next eight years, over and above the US$10 billion necessary to sustain current use. FP2020 will actively seek new funding, policy, and service delivery commitments. We will promote accountability for those commitments by tracking and reporting progress, linking with the UN Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, Every Woman, Every Child.
Insufficient funding is just one reason family planning programs may fail to reach women and girls. Social and cultural factors such as gender inequality, discrimination, and a lack of appreciation for cultural sensitivities and personal preferences are all formidable barriers. Family planning strategies will not succeed unless they are embedded in a continuum of care, protect human rights, and promote gender equality. No plan can be said to serve the needs of women and girls if it does not respect their agency.
As we present FP2020’s first annual progress report, we look forwardto the year ahead. We are inspired by the power and promise of information, the dynamic intelligence and creativity of our colleagues in all sectors, and our shared dedication to achieving our common goal. Reaching 120 million additional women and girls with life-saving contraceptives in just eight short years is an ambitious goal, but together we will succeed.
Dr. Chris Elias
President, Global Development
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
United Nations Population Fund