February 2009 in Review
In the spotlight
Innovation Fund announces first awards

The Coalition is pleased to announce the following awards under Round 1 of its new Innovation Fund. Established by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fund will provide more than US$2 million over the next two years to support new initiatives by the Coalition’s Working Groups. Recipients in this first round of funding are:

  • John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and Abt Associates of the Market Development Approaches Working Group will jointly conduct a Total Market Initiative in Honduras. The eight-month collaborative effort aims to facilitate collaboration among providers of family planning (FP) products and services, as well as to segment the FP market to better meet the needs of clients.
  • JSI of the Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG) will complete a comprehensive inventory of English- French-, and Spanish-language professional development training programs for public-sector supply chain managers in developing countries.
  • Marie Stopes International (MSI), also of the SSWG, will conduct an assessment of logistics systems in three crisis settings, with a view toward understanding better the challenges facing agencies that deliver emergency RH supplies.

For more information on these awards or on the Innovation Fund, please contact innovation@rhsupplies.org. The next application deadline is May 1, 2009.

Coalition on the scene
Tenth Membership Meeting details

Preparations for the Coalition’s Tenth Membership Meeting are well underway. The membership meeting will be held at the Chelsea College of Art and Design from June 45. The Executive Committee will meet at the UK Department for International Development (DFID) headquarters on June 3rd. DFID, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and MSI have generously offered to host preliminary meetings of the Coalition’s three Working Groups from June 13, as needed. A reception will be held on Wednesday, June 3rd, in the Library at One Birdcage Walk. This event is jointly hosted by IPPF and the Coalition for meeting participants and invited guests.

The Secretariat has reserved a block of hotel rooms at the City Inn Westminster, a short walk from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. For booking details and the most up-to-date information on every aspect of the week’s events, consult the dedicated web page, now available on the Coalition’s website. Gloria Castany at the Secretariat can also provide further information.

Mon. 1


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Wed. 3


Thurs. 4


Fri. 5



Systems Strengthening Working Group meeting


Executive Committee meeting

IPPF and Coalition reception



Coalition membership meeting




Coalition membership meeting


NORAD joins the Coalition

The Coalition is pleased to welcome the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation (NORAD) as its newest member. NORAD focuses its efforts on a number of different thematic areas, including maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, private-sector development, human rights, and the environment. NORAD is committed to improving supplies for sexual and reproductive health and is currently engaged in the Universal Access to Female Condoms Programme. NORAD is the 81st member and the 9th bilateral organization to join the Coalition. More information on NORAD can be found at their website.

Coalition briefs Countdown 2015/Europe

On February 4, Coalition Director John Skibiak and Neil Data, Co-Chair of the Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group, updated members of the Countdown 2015/Europe Steering Committee on Coalition events and activities since the Committee’s last meeting in October. The two also led more detailed, interactive sessions on two activities of particular interest to the group: the recently updated Donor Gap analysis and the new procurement and financing mechanisms, otherwise known as AccessRH and the Pledge Guarantee for Health. The presentations were well received and ended up setting the stage for a number of proposed follow-on activities in France and Belgium. Countdown 2015 has played a pivotal role in enabling the Coalition to engage with European partners, including both nongovernmental and bilateral agencies. For more information on Countdown 2015 please contact An Huybrechts.

RH supplies on the prequalification agenda

On February 3, Steve Kinzett attended the 4th Consultative Stakeholder Meeting on UN Prequalification of Diagnostics, Medicines and Vaccines, held at WHO headquarters in Geneva.  Though RH supplies make up only a small part of the prequalification program, the meeting did highlight a number of issues of interest:

  • To date, no hormonal methods have been prequalified through the WHO system. At least 11 are under evaluation, with results expected later this year. 
  • Although the prequalification of diagnostics is largely limited to products relating to HIV, there is the possibility of RH-related products emerging down the line (e.g., rapid tests for syphilis and, possibly, pregnancy). 
  • Further funding for the prequalification process is needed, especially for RH supplies.

Further information on the WHO Prequalification Programme is available here. Information on prequalification, specifically on condoms and intrauterine devices, can be found here.  

Highlights from the Working Groups
Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG)

Leader nominations: The MDA WG is currently soliciting nominations for Working Group leader from any members who have taken part in at least one monthly MDA WG teleconference in the past 12 months. Organizations have until Friday, March 13 to make nominations to the Secretariat. Please submit all nominations to Steve Kinzett.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMA WG)

Member Meeting: On February 9, members of the RMA WG met via teleconference to discuss progress on the Advocacy Toolkit and Global Mapping workstreams. A final draft of the mapping study has been prepared and is currently being reviewed. Also discussed was the Donor Gap Analysis, which is being formatted for publication by the Coalition. Once complete, both the Gap Analysis and the mapping study will be available for download from the Coalition’s website. Members also discussed potential topics for the Working Group’s meeting prior to the Annual Membership Meeting in June.

Advocacy Toolkit and Trainings:  Members of the RMA WG met by teleconference to review proposed design changes to the Toolkit and to identify potential advocacy training opportunities associated with upcoming ICPD+15 events. The changes enhance the Toolkit’s usability and are intended to make the site easier to navigate and read. The edits will be reviewed and final decisions on the layout will be done in March. The advocacy trainings, which will be done through Project RMA, will have a regional context/focus and will feature 23 day trainings using the Advocacy Toolkit.  

Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Countries at Risk (CAR): Members of the CAR met by teleconference on February 25. A recent trip by one of the CAR members to Kenya revealed that the country is working to reinvigorate coordination groups and improve procurement planning. Public-sector service delivery sites receive quarterly shipments of contraceptives directly from the central warehouse, which means that central-level stockouts rapidly translate into service-delivery stockouts. In March, the Kenya FP Logistics Group will meet to discuss and identify solutions to acute commodity needs.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Greenstar (a Population Services International affiliate) approached the CAR with concerns over its ability to sustain commodity availability as DFID switches to budget support. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expedited shipments of 200,000 doses of Norigynon to Ghanawhich has since arrived in countrythereby relieving the central-level stockout of that commodity. UNFPA is also exploring the possibility of expediting a shipment of emergency contraception to Paraguay, which has also stocked out. Finally, ongoing concerns over implant stocks in Bangladesh have prompted the CAR to consider meeting with country representatives in the near future. Contact Kevin Pilz for more information.

RHInterchange (RHI) Update: The RHI team is pleased to announce the addition of procurement information from MSI, going back to 2005. The RHI reports that since 2005, MSI has procured and shipped almost US$5.5 million of product to 22 countries around the world.  MSI joins IPPF, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), UNFPA, Crown Agents, Cycle Technologies, and the Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal as providers of data to the RHI.

New and Underused RH Technology Caucus - Highlight on Manual Vacuum Aspiration

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is used for treatment of incomplete abortion, first-trimester abortion, and endometrial biopsy. Manual Vacuum Aspiration instruments for obstetric complications are now available via UNFPA’s supply system, which has supply agreements in place to assist governments in procuring MVA for their RH/FP programs. If your organization is currently providing post-abortion care training, please contact your UNFPA office to see if they can collaborate with the ministry of health to obtain MVA supplies from UNFPA and ensure all training sites have sufficient MVA equipment. More information on MVA can be found here.

Upcoming Events

5 March MDA WG Teleconference
1011 March Conference: Accessing Hormonal Contraceptives & Other Reproductive Health Medicines, UNFPA, Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact Steve Kinzett for more information.
1213 March Project RMA Partners Meeting, Brussels
25 March CAR Teleconference
2 April MDA WG Teleconference
29 April CAR Teleconference
1 May Innovation Fund deadline, Round 2
15 June Coalition Annual Membership and Working Group Meetings, London

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

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