August 2010 in Review
In the spotlight

The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition is excited to announce the launch of the HANDtoHAND Campaign (the Campaign) to support the UN Secretary General’s new Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Building on the language of the “Empty-Handed” video, the Campaign calls on Coalition members to work toward a new goal: 100 million new users of modern contraception by 2015an achievement that would meet the family planning needs of 80 percent of women in low- and middle-income countries around the world.

The Coalition is asking its member organizations to demonstrate their support for the HANDtoHAND Campaign by committing themselves to delivering the resources, and other investments in time, energy and programme support that will be required to help 100 million women satisfy their need for family planning. The Campaign then aims to deliver the pledges of Coalition members in association with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit, which will take place next month in New York.    

Detailed information on the Campaign, including a Campaign Pledge, key messaging information, and a commitment letter template, will soon be available on the Coalition’s website. Please contact the Coalition Director, John Skibiak, to learn more about the ways your organization can contribute to this global effort.

Coalition on the scene
Time for an update: revisiting the Coalition’s Strategic Plan

When it was adopted in 2007, the Coalition’s Strategic Plan included provisions for a three-year review of its effectiveness and relevance. This month, the Secretariat kicked off that review by developing a survey designed to solicit input from the membership at large. The survey, which will be administered online in September, will ask you to describe how your work contributes to the workstreams, how you may have used the Strategic Plan in the past, and what suggestions you have for changes, improvements or new ideas for the Strategic Plan in the future. Those seeking further information or who wish to get involved in the review process, please contact Steve Kinzett at the Coalition Secretariat.

WHO prequalifies two additional hormonal contraceptives

WHO announced this month that two more hormonal contraceptives have received prequalification status. The products include a medroxyprogesterone acetate 150mg/ml suspension injection manufactured by Pfizer, which many will already know by the brand name Depo-Provera®. They also include a levonorgestrel 0.75mg tablet emergency contraceptive pill manufactured by Gedeon-Richter Plc, marketed under the brand name Postinor®. With the addition of these two commodities, there are now seven hormonal contraceptives prequalified by WHO, covering a range of contraceptive options. Please click here to see the complete list of WHO prequalified supplies.

Coalition joins the Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health

In an effort to expand collaboration with the maternal and child health sector, this month the Coalition became a member of the Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (PMNCH). The PMNCH is hosted by the WHO and works to mobilize its base of members and partners to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5. The Coalition looks forward to engaging with PMNCH in the area of commodity security and to identifying opportunities for collaboration. For more information on the PMNCH, please visit their website here.

PAI receives award under Round 5 of Innovation Fund

This month, Population Action International was awarded an Innovation Fund grant to facilitate country engagement and participation in Istanbul +10 activities. This will be done in concert with the broader Istanbul +10 initiative already underway within the Coalition. The project, entitled Istanbul +10: Lessons Learned to Move Forward, will gather information on country-level experiences with RH commodity security from the past ten years and present lessons learned and strategic recommendations for the future. For more information, please contact Jess Bernstein or Mercedes Mas de Xaxas.

Coalition welcomes its newest members

This month, the Coalition welcomed two new members, bringing our membership to 121.

  • MIDEGO: MIDEGO is a health workforce development and system strengthening firm helping clients and partners accelerate reaching the MDGs. 
  • Pharm Access Africa Limited (PAAL): PAAL is a healthcare organization linking private-sector initiatives to those of donor organizations to enhance health care at the community level.
Highlights from the Working Groups
Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs): In August, the CARhs provided information on upcoming shipment information to assist RH supplies management for 11 requests in seven countries. In addition, the following actions were taken:

  • USAID arranged an additional shipment of IUDs to Ethiopia to prevent a stockout. 
  • UNFPA began negotiating with manufacturers to expedite shipments and thus reduce likelihood of stockouts for progestin-only pills in Nigeria; female condoms, implants, and combined oral contraceptives in Kenya; and implants in Ghana. 
  • The World Bank is attempting to expedite non-objection for basket-funded procurements of injectables and implants in Tanzania.

The CARhs also discussed improving financing for RH supplies by including the Pledge Guarantee for Health and/or AccessRH in large projects such as World Bank loans or grants, and the potential negative impact of high implant use on financing for other contraceptives. Contact Kevin Pilz for more information. 
Professional Development of Supply Chain Managers:  Since the Kampala Membership Meeting, consultations were conducted with eight Latin American countries (including ministries, NGOs, and development partners), DFID, IPPF, MSI, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Inter-Agency Procurement Group, the Clinton Foundation, and several USAID health and humanitarian affairs offices, among others. These stakeholders will come together for a global positioning and harmonization meeting in early 2011 to develop a joint commitment and plan of action. Funding has been provided by USAID to Coalition members USAID | DELIVER and Institut Bioforce Développement to support the meeting and harmonization process. Contact Kevin Pilz for more information. 

AccessRH and RHInterchange (RHI) Update: With the addition of two new staff members (the Business Analyst and Demand Planner), the AccessRH team organized a planning workshop in August. Team members presented updated process streams and deliberated on key aspects of AccessRH implementation, such as inventory management, demand planning, marketing strategies, and performance monitoring. The RHI transfer is also progressing and scheduled to occur in the following three phases: Phase I will deliver a working copy of the RHI to the UNFPA server and will be up and running by mid-October; during Phase 2, all of the data-provider information will be incorporated into UNFPA’s version of the RHI; Phase 3 runs concurrent with the first two phases and involves ongoing training with UNFPA staff on the maintenance and enhanced use of the RHI.

November meeting dates: The SSWG confirmed this month that it will meet 2-3 November at the IPPF offices in London. Members will discuss current workstreams and brainstorm ideas for future activities. Further details on the agenda and lodging information will soon be sent to members through the listserv. For more information, contact Steve Kinzett or David Smith.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMA WG)

Upcoming meeting to follow EuroNGOs: The RMA WG will hold a two day meeting in London following the EuroNGOs annual conference. The meeting will be held 10-11 November at the Grosvenor Victoria Hotel (the same venue as the EuroNGOs meeting). Details on the meeting agenda and logistics will be sent to members shortly. Please contact Steve Kinzett, Sandra Jordan, or Neil Datta for more information.

Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG)

November meeting dates confirmed: The MDA WG has confirmed that it will meet in Washington, DC on 11-12 November. To be hosted by JSI, the meeting agenda will include the Total Market Initiative and quality RH medicines. Further details will soon be sent to members through the listserv. For more information, please contact Steve Kinzett or Ben Light.

Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies (Caucus)

Working Group Liaisons kick start collaboration: During their July teleconference, Caucus members identified liaisons for each of the Coalition’s three Working Groups. The Liaisons will represent the Caucus at Working Group meetings, share Caucus information with Working Group members, and report back to the Caucus membership on outcomes of Working Group discussions. Earlier this month, the Working Group Liaisons met with Caucus leadership to outline Liaison responsibilities and identify priority activities for each Working Group. Discussions between the Liasions and Working Group Leaders are being scheduled for September. The Liaision for each Working Group is listed below: 

  • Nienke Blauw (World Population Foundation): RMA WG
  • Katherine Williams (Population Council): MDA WG
  • Victoria Jennings ( Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University): SSWG 

For further information, please contact Bonnie Keith.

Upcoming Events

22 Sept Every Woman, Every Child, (launch of UN Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health), New York. 
30 Sept Deadline for Country Representative AccessRH Advisory Group applications
7 Oct Achieving Universal Access to RH, Brussels. Contact An Huybrechts for more information.
12 Oct Caucus Quarterly Teleconference
13-14 Oct EC Jamboree, NY
15 Oct Deadline for Executive Committee representative applications
2-3 Nov SSWG meeting, London
5 Nov Executive Committee meeting, London
8-9 Nov EuroNGOs Annual Conference, London
10-11 Nov RMA WG meeting, London
11-12 Nov MDA WG meeting, Washington, DC
12-14 Nov PMNCH Partners' Forum Meeting, New Delhi

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

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