August 2007 in Review



In the spotlight



Strategic Plan approved

On August 27, the Executive Committee approved the Coalition's Strategic Plan submitted by the Strategic Planning Task Force. The Strategic Plan incorporates recommendations from the London membership meeting, input from member institutions subsequent to the London meeting, and the results of a one-day meeting with monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialists held at the offices of Constella-Futures in early June.

Approval of the plan culminates a nine-month effort by all Coalition members to articulate a vision of the future, provide a blueprint for realizing that vision, and feed into the preparation of an M&E plan for tracking achievements and progress. Efforts are already underway to edit a final copy of the plan, translate it into French and Spanish, and begin sensitizing members to its contents and relevance to their own work. Contact the Secretariat for more information.





Coalition on the scene




Draft agenda approved

The draft agenda for the Coalition's October 24-25 membership meeting has been approved by the Executive Committee, which will make it possible for the first time to include it with the official invitation letters. The agenda includes a morning session on Coalition business, followed by global lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Members are invited to review the draft agenda and submit any comments and suggestions to the Secretariat. Invitations will be sent out by the second week of September.

While Kevin Pilz (USAID), LAC Planning Committee coordinator, continues to shape the LAC sessions, Erin Broekhuysen and Madeline McCaul of the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and the Secretariat remain busy with logistical arrangements. Here again is an overview of the October meeting schedule as it stands. Contact the Secretariat for more details.

Mon. 22


Tues. 23


Wed. 24


Thurs. 25


Fri. 26












Executive Committee meeting and dinner


Membership meeting


Free in evening


Membership meeting


RMA WG meeting

SSWG meeting


MDA WG meeting






Update on Membership Task Force

The Membership Task Force work has continued throughout August. Following consultations with Task Force members and other stakeholders, a discussion paper is being finalized and will become the focus of a Task Force meeting to take place in London on September 26. Following that meeting, the Task Force will prepare a recommendation for the Executive Committee meeting in October. Contact the Secretariat for more details.

Co-Chair nominations still being accepted

The Secretariat is still accepting nominations for the post of Co-Chair currently occupied by Margret Verwijk, as reported in the July newsletter. Any nominations should be sent to the Secretariat. Once all nominations have been received, they will be forwarded to the Co-Chairs and Executive Committee for consideration.

At their recent teleconference, the Executive Committee formally adopted the policy of a Co-Chair arrangement with terms of office staggered, thereby allowing incumbents to succeed one another in alternating years (as reported in the May newsletter). The Executive Committee highlighted the advantage of the new system, namely that it reduces the workload of a single Chair, allows for faster decision-making, and provides for greater continuity.

Website project takes another step

A web agency and content management system (CMS) have been selected to support the development and implementation of the Coalitions new website. German-based web agency Active Elements was chosen from among three competing agencies based on their creativity, price, and past working experience with Coalition partner DSW.

Next steps include fine-tuning the design, programming the site, and producing the content. Site content will be showcased at the upcoming membership meeting. Contact Catherine Potter for more details.

Farewell to Lena Sund

Lena Sund, Deputy Head of the Human and Social Development Unit in the European Commission's Directorate General for Development, will step down from the Executive Committee at the end of August to pursue a new mission in Botswana. Lena has been a member of the Executive Committee since autumn 2005 and was instrumental in identifying and establishing the current Co-Chair arrangement. We wish her all the best in her new position. Contact the Secretariat for more information.





Highlights from the Working Groups


Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

The proposed SSWG technical workshop to evaluate computerized tools for supply chain systems and supplies management has been postponed until December. The SSWG will, however, meet on October 26 following the membership meeting. For more information on the SSWG, contact Alan Bornbusch.

In July and August, the RHInterchange (RHI) undertook country-level visits to gather information in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Guatemala, and Honduras (a visit to Ghana was completed in June). Decision-makers and managers at ministries of health (MOH), central medical stores, service providers, nongovernmental organizations, civil society, and donors provided input that will shape the use of the RHI for in-country decision-making and coordination. Initial findings suggest that the RHI could be an additional important source of information for decision-making, along with distribution and consumption data. All five countries are making use of opportunities where the RHI could be incorporated into decision-making processes. The RHI intends to broaden its scope by including contraceptives funded by MOH budgets, as well as other sources, and by broadening the range of methods tracked. For further information, contact Mimi Whitehouse or Jane Feinberg.

Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG)

The MDA WG met by teleconference to finalize the agenda for a meeting to be held in Washington, DC on October 1-3. The agenda calls for a "manufacturer's forum" on the first day, which will be facilitated by Steven Sinding. The second day will include speakers from PSP-One, Marie Stopes International, and DKT. Day three will entail the formulation of a new WG workplan. For more information, contact Ben Light.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMA WG/Project RMA)

Following its recent work to advance a common advocacy agenda for reproductive health (RH) supplies, Population Action International (PAI) is preparing for a new round of sub-grants to global/regional networks. Five to eight one-year grants will be awarded, with an increased focus on participation in the emerging NGO Supply Alliance.

The Project RMA Team and the RMA WG welcomes Jessica Bernstein, formerly of the United Nations Foundation, who will be working for several months while Suzanne Ehlers of PAI is on maternity leave.

Advocating for RH in the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Last year's efforts to include RH in Round 7 of the Global Fund proposals will continue as the window for Round 8 proposals (March 1 - July 1, 2008) approaches. Results of last year's advocacy efforts have been impressive with countries such as Rwanda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe submitting Round 7 proposals that included RH elements. Guidelines for the integration of RH developed and widely used for Round 7 are now available for Round 8.

Supply Gap Analysis. The analysis of the gap between contraceptive projections and the funding available has served as a key advocacy piece for support of RH supplies. Many stakeholders have requested that this analysis be updated. The RMA WG with USAID | DELIVER will convene a meeting of interested parties to reach consensus on both the scope of the analysis and how it will be used. Contact Carolyn Vogel for more information.






Upcoming events


10-11 September

UNFPA RHCS Champions Meeting followed by Informal Briefing - Reproductive Health Commodity Security: Developments and Challenges; New York

12-14 September

Dutch Female Condom meeting (World Population Foundation, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Directorate-General for International Cooperation, Jippy/IDA Foundation, Oxfam Novib); Oegstgeest, the Netherlands

18 September

Market Development Approaches Working Group teleconference; 11.00 EST

26 September

Membership Task Force meeting; London, UK

27-28 September

Global Fund Replenishment Meeting; Berlin, Germany

1-3 October

Market Development Approaches Working Group meeting; Washington, DC

8-9 October

6th International Dialogue: Population and Sustainable Development; Berlin, Germany

11 October

EuroNGOs Conference: Engaging the South in ICPD Advocacy; Lisbon, Portugal

18-20 October

Women Deliver Global Conference; London, England

23-24 October

Global Safe Abortion Conference 2007; London, England

24-25 October

Coalition membership meeting; Washington, DC


6-8 November

USAID/MSH/DSW virtual conference on “Re-Positioning Family Planning for Francophone Africa” (contact for more information)







Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

Rue Marie-Thirhse, 21
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 210.02.22
Fax: +32 (0)2 219.33.63