April 2010 in Review
In the spotlight
Member Meeting Update

A country focus: Country case studies will take pride of place this year at the Coalition’s Eleventh Annual Membership Meeting to be held in Kampala, Uganda. Participants will get an in-depth look at initiatives currently underway in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Latin America will also be represented by presentations on the newly formed regional Forum on Contraceptive Security, and on the highly successful Total Market Initiative in Honduras. A case study on maternal health supplies in Bangladesh will bring Asia into the fold. Finally, participants will be treated to the premiere of a short film, set in Uganda, that seeks puts a human face on the realities of commodity security at country-level. For more details on these and other events, turn to the Coalition’s website.

Rooms in reserve: Today is the last day to book a room (currently available at the Imperial Royal Hotel) at the preferred rate of $155. Please book online while they last. After 5 May, rooms will be subject to availability and full commercial rates. Contact Francis Fix for more information.

Mon. 24


Tues. 25


Wed. 26


Thurs. 27


Fri. 28

Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies (afternoon)


Systems Strengthening Working Group (all day)

Market Development Approaches Working Group (all day)


Executive Committee meeting

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (all day)

RMA WG Field Trip



Coalition Membership Meeting




Coalition Membership Meeting


Coalition on the scene
Helsinki hosts the Global Programme

On 8-9 April, UNFPA and the Government of Finland hosted the 4th annual gathering of friends and donors to the Global Programme on Reproductive Health Commodity Security.  At the two-day event, representatives from IPPF, the Coalition, and seven bilateral agencies, including USAID, were briefed on Programme accomplishments, including a case study on efforts underway to achieve commodity security in Sierra Leone. Attendees also discussed the results of a recent economic analysis of the Global Programme’s capacity building component. To conclude the event, participants visited the Turku-based production facility of Bayer-Schering Oy, where the firm produces Jadelle® and the intrauterine system Mirena®. For more information on the Helsinki meeting, please contract Beatriz de la Mora.  

JSI receives award under Round 4 of Innovation Fund

This month, John Snow Inc. was awarded an Innovation Fund grant to expand and make more accessible a database of more than 100 professional development opportunities for RH commodity managers. The project, entitled Professional Development Opportunities for Public Sector Reproductive Health Commodity Managers II, will make available through the Coalition’s website a user-friendly database that allows users to search professional development opportunities, provide comments and feedback on existing courses, and add new information on offerings. This database is expected to be online by December 2011. For more information, contact Carolyn Hart.

Highlights from the Working Groups
Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Countries at Risk (CAR):  In April, the CAR group provided shipment and stock updates for 12 countries, and worked toward resolving remaining challenges in the following areas:

  • Due to Pfizer’s recall of Depo-Provera in early 2010, several countries are experiencing severe shortages or stock-outs of injectables. The CAR is trying to help those countries with the most urgent needs by increasing access to either limited stocks of Depo-Provera or other injectables. Throughout April, the CAR worked to meet injectable needs in El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Senegal.
  • This month, representatives of the UN Foundation discussed how the Pledge Guarantee for Health (PGH) could help the CAR address risks arising from the delayed release of financial commitments. The PGH has agreed to work with the CAR to identify appropriate opportunities for extending short-term credit for commodity procurement.
  • Kenya continues to experience central-level shortages and stock-outs resulting from delays in the procurement of combined oral contraceptives and implants, male and female condoms, injectables, and progestin-only pills. Members of the CAR group are advocating with in-country partners to move forward these procurements to avoid shortages at the lower levels.

Contact Kevin Pilz for more information. 

AccessRH/RHInterchange: This month, the AccessRH management team at UNFPA/Copenhagen welcomed Jane Feinberg from JSI who will serve as the AccessRH Performance Advisor. The team also:

  • Held a series of work planning meetings to clarify project objectives through February, 2011.
  • Took first steps in launching an initial web presence.
  • Expanded RHI data coverage by capturing PSI orders from 2008 to the present. This expansion, which covers 42 countries, brings the total value of methods reported in the RHI to more than US $45 million. The top three countries by high value of shipments are South Africa, Tanzania, and Nigeria.  To see more, visit the RHI website.

Professionalization of Logisticians:  Members of this workstream met via teleconference on 28 April to develop plans for implementing the activities outlined in the White Paper entitled Improving Health Outcomes through Professionalizing the Management of Public Health Supply Chains. Implementation of the White Paper call for broad-based consensus around the need for professionalization, appropriate advocacy strategies at country level, and common standards or competencies for public health supply chain managers. A process was outlined to advance this advocacy and harmonization process. The process will include a series of regional consultations, starting with the Coalition’s May membership meeting , to sensitize governments and international organizations to the importance of professionalization and to discuss needs and concerns surrounding it. This will be followed in early 2011 by a global meeting of policy-level government officials and international organizations/technical agencies to get high-level buy-in and commitment to address professionalization in a coordinated and aligned manner. Finally, the group proposed the establishment of a technical working group that will define required key competencies and develop a strategy for designing a common certification program. Members agreed that the harmonization process must be conducted in a flexible manner that includes existing initiatives and trainings. For more information, contact Kevin Pilz.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness (RMA WG)

Last call - Project RMA: Project RMA hosted its final partners meeting in London on 8-9 April. During this meeting, project partners PAI, IPPF, and DSW reflected back upon the successes of this three-and-a-half year advocacy initiative to advance financial and political commitments to increase the availability of reproductive health supplies. Accomplishments include: raising the profile of the supplies issue at global level; creating and improving supply-related policies in six countries; increasing funding for RH supplies; building an evidence base for RH supplies advocacy through research; and supporting new advocacy champions–from district health officials, to global and regional NGO networks, to Parliamentarians. Project partners look forward to sharing lessons learned with the RMA WG and the broader Coalition in Kampala.

Caucus on New and Underused Reproductive Health Technologies (Caucus)

Strategy development survey: This month, leaders of the Caucus on New and Underused Reproductive Health Technologies sent a short survey to all Caucus members; this survey is designed to help inform the development and content of a new strategic plan. Caucus members are urged to complete the online survey by 10 May so the results can be analyzed and recommendations developed in time for the group’s meeting in Kampala. For more information, please contact Bonnie Keith.

Latin American Forum on Commodity Security (Forum)

Inaugural meeting: This month, the Steering Committee of the new Latin American Forum on Commodity Security met for the first time. Their aim was to agree on a timetable for completing the Forum’s Terms of Reference and, at a later date, a White Paper that would build on the conclusions of the recent commodity security meeting in Panama and incorporate regional supply-related concerns more broadly. A draft scope of work was prepared in the weeks following the meeting and is currently under review. Committee members also agreed to work together in hosting a high-level meeting on regional commodity security. The meeting would follow an upcoming gathering of eight national commodity coordinating committees to be held this June in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. For more information on the new Forum, please contact Gloria Castany at the Secretariat.  


Upcoming Events

6 May MDA WG Teleconference
10 May Deadline for completion of the Caucus Member Survey
17 - 19 May POSTPONED: 10th APA Conference, Bangkok
24 - 28 May Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition Annual Membership Meeting, Kampala, Uganda
1 June Deadline for Round 5 Innovation Fund applications
28 - 30 June Regional Conference on RHCS - A decade of policy implementation: Achievements and outstanding challenges in achieving contraceptive security in LAC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

For more details on the above and other events, see the events calendar on the Coalition website.

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