ICFP Closing Event: Good Governance and Accountability Needed in Post-MDG Agenda

With only two years left until the deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global development community is looking to the future. “The new post-2015 development agenda should build on the MDGs, but include new challenges facing people on the planet,” saidElizabeth Lule, Director of Family Planning at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a panelist on the International Conference of Family Planning’s closing event. This new process, Lule said, must be inclusive and open.

As the panelist gave their input on what should be included in the post-2015 development agenda, one two topics stood out: governance and accountability.  What is commonly needed in most countries is, “The role of governance, transparency, and accountability to make the [donor] money work for those who need it,” Lule said.

“Accountability for results [in the post-2015 development agenda] is a moral imperative,” stated panelist Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India. Gupta shared a story showing the results of India’s provision of free transportation of pregnant women to and from health centers. The result of more women giving birth in health centers was increased access and utilization of post-partum family planning.

The two additional panelists, Professor Dr. Fasli Jalal, Chairperson of the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) in Indonesia, and Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development’s Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), shared what they have found to be vital success that they have witnessed.

“Good governances at all levels, national to local is needed in order to achieve and maintain MDGs,” Dr. Jalal said as he expressed Indonesia’s intent to continue to make progress in family planning after the MDGs end.

When creating a post-2015 development agenda, there need to be indicators to help governments accountable, Dr. Musinguzi told the attendees. While many governments made multiple reproductive health commitments in the past, such as the ICPD and Maputo Plan of Action, many were not held accountable to them. Going forward, Dr. Musinguzi said, we “Need to hold governments and leaders accountable for the many reproductive health commitments that have been made.” With accountability and governance, universal access to family planning can become a reality.

Leadership and Governance in the Spotlight at AWLN High Level Panel

On Thursday (11/14)  night, leaders from all over Africa gathered at the International Conference on Family Planning for the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) High Level Panel, held in partnership with IPPF. The event, opened by Theo Sowa, CEO of the African Women Development Fund, featured a panel discussion on family planning access and maternal mortality reduction.

“Strong management and good governance are necessary  to improve access to family planning,” panelist Dr. Michael T. Mbizvo,  Former Director Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization said. The panel echoed Mbizvo’s emphasis on management and governance, and added that women’s leadership should be elevated to improve health outcomes, setting the stage to introduce LMG’s new publication, An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations of African Women Leaders. The well-received publication featured interviews with many AWLN members that are Members of Parliament(MP) in their home countries and have displayed strong leadership for reproductive health.

The AWLN High Level Panel in pictures:

Kweku Brenu (middle), Regional Chair, IPPF Africa Region gives opening remarks with Lucien Kouakou (lef), Regional Director, IPPF Africa Region, and Ngarmbatina Odjimbeye Soukate (right), representative of HE Debyltno, First Lady of the Republic of Chad. 

HE Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi (left), First Lady of Nigeria’s Ekiti State, speaks on the High Level Panel beside Hon. Marie-Rose Nguini (middle), MP in Cameroon, and Dr. Michael Mbizvo (right).

Tewodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF, gives closing remarks.

Elly Mugumya, Director of the LMG/IPPF Partnership, introduces LMG publication, An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders.

Hon. Ruth Kavuma (left), former MP in Uganda and founding Chairperson of Mama Alive, holds An Open Mind and a Hard Back with Hon. Sylvia Ssinabulya, (middle), MP in Uganda, and Sarah Lindsay (right), technical officer for LMG. Both Hon. Kavuma and Hon. Ssinabulya are featured in the publication.

An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders is available on the LMG website. 

In Pictures: Youth Leadership Workshop for Family Planning

This post also appears on the LMGforHealth Blog

Youth leaders have been in the spotlight at the International Conference on Family Planning with multiple sessions and a plenary dedicated to youth leadership. On Wednesday, over 25 of these young people gathered for the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project’s Youth Leadership Workshop on Family Planning. The participants, from all regions of Africa and Asia, actively engaged in leadership exercises led by Seble Daniel (MSH – LMG/Ethiopia), Sarah Lindsay (MSH – LMG), and Catherine Chiboola Kabuddula (IPPF Youth Leader/Zambia).

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Setting the stage at the ICFP opening ceremony

This post also appears in the LMGforHealth Blog

It is no coincidence that the International Conference on Family Planning is in Ethiopia, a country that has increased the usage of modern methods of contraceptive from 14% in 2005 to 27% in 2011.  “We are having [the conference] in Ethiopia to celebrate the success of Ethiopia,” said Oying Rimon, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The success of Ethiopia has been credited to the government leading the process and the community owning it. This is vital, Chris Elias President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “Political leaders are stepping up to improve family planning services. This is what we need, this is what we see in Ethiopia.”

More eveidence on Ethiopia not slowing down,  “I am confident that our goal for expanding family planning to our citizens will be realized,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn stated, opening the conference for over 3,000 government officials, international agencies and civil societies to share best practices to improve family planning services around the world.

Opening Ceremony Themes:

Country Ownership:

“Country ownership is the surest way to ensure country’s chart their own courses and overcome their own challenges for development. Ownership reinforces commitment. The principles and actions for country ownership are neither new or hard to understand. What is missing is donor commitment to country ownership. We urge all development partners to move forward to make country ownership a priority so achieving the MDG goals will become a reality, too.”  – Dr. Kesete-birhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia

Human Rights:

“We have to link women’s rights to women’s realities.” – Dr. Kesete-birhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia

“I want mothers to be saved, their lives need to be protected. What is better than saving a mother?” – Ethiopian Heath Extension Worker

“Family planning is a right, and a woman’s right is a human right.” – Dr. Nkosanzana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission


“This conference is historic because this is the largest contingent of young people ever at a family planning conference. And at about 1.8 billion, today’s youth is the largest generation ever to transition to adulthood.” – Dr. Catherine Bonga Baye, Youth Delegate, Cameroon

“UNFPA must create a youth goal around youth education, their health, their sexuality, their access to contraception, their rights, and their abilities to get jobs.” – Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund

“We always say the youth is the future. But the youth inherit our earth. You might as well start shaping the future now. Get involved now.” – Dr. Nkosanzana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

Follow @MSHHealthImpact and @LMGforHealth for live tweets from the ICFP

ICFP Pre-Conference: Sharing best practices, launching a publication, and meeting inspiring youth leaders

This post also appears in the LMGforHealth Blog

The 2013 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) may not begin until Tuesday, but the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project has already attended numerous events around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Photo credit: Eva Ros, LMG Project/MSH

On Monday morning, LMG consortium partner, International Planned Parenthood Federation, presented Africa Region’s Annual Learning and Sharing Platform. The meeting brought together reproductive health practitioners from its forty-two member networks in Africa to exchange ideas and best practices. This year, the meeting also included IPPF’s other five region, Arab World, Europe, South Asia, East and South East Asia, and Western Hemisphere, to share their stories. Within the different regions a common challenge stood out: their ability to reach younger people with reproductive health services and training.

“We must mobilize out of school adolescents and strengthen our youth friendly services,” Anjali Sen, regional director of IPPF South Asia shared. The other regions agreed, deeming it vital to reach IPPF Director General (DG) Tewodros Melesse’s goal of tripling services provided by 2020.

Following the regional sharing, LMG/IPPF Partnership Director Elly Mugumya launched the newest LMG publication An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women LeadersMugumya said the importance of the publication would be, “To accelerate the process of bringing about gender equality and good governance in the health sector, it is important to understand the leadership role women play.” Mugumya and IPPF Africa Performance & Knowledge Manager Paulin Tra presented the first copy of the publication to IPPF DG Melesse.

At the end of the day, LMG was able to visit with IPPF youth delegates, as well as the ICFP youth speakers chosen to attend the conference at their respective pre-conference workshops. These youth leaders are being prepared with crash courses on public speaking, social media, advocacy, and other skills to maximize their impact during and after the conference. Follow LMG and youth leaders, and LMG youth leadership activities on Twitter with: #ICFPYouth and #YouthLead.

Photo: IPPF Africa Regional Performance & Knowledge Manager Paulin Tra unwraps new LMG publication “An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders