January 2011 in Review        
In the spotlight
Coalition announces new dates for Addis Ababa gathering

The dates of this year’s annual meeting have been moved to the week of 20 June. The move will facilitate the participation of those already scheduled to attend this year’s UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS). Planning is already well underway for a full range of activities throughout the week.


The high-level celebration of Meeting the Challenge, referred to in the November 2010 issue of SupplyInsider, will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, the 22nd and 23rd of June. The regular Coalition annual meeting will take place Friday the 24th. As in past years, the days leading up to the main eventMonday, Tuesday, and perhaps even earlierwill be reserved for preliminary activities such as Working Group, LAC Forum, and Caucus meetings; country-team meetings; and the semi-annual meeting of the Executive Committee.


The coming weeks will see the launch of a new webpage with the latest news on the week’s events. Should you have any questions relating to scheduling or organization, please feel free to contact Francis Fix at the Secretariat. 


Coalition on the scene
Round 6 Innovation Fund awards announced

This month, three new awards were issued under Round 6 of the Coalition’s Innovation Fund. The Fund was established in 2009 to further the Coalition’s strategic goals by enabling the Coalition’s three Working Groups to undertake activities in line with their objectives and workplans.

  • Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University (IRH), through the Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG) and with the Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies, will develop a guide to help countries and programmes meet their forecasting needs when trend data is insufficient to predict future demand.
  • Institut Bioforce Développement, through the SSWG, will provide planning support for an international consultation, designed to establish an evidence-base for the need for professional development of supply chain managers, and for securing country input into the development of workstream activities and strategies.
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), through the SSWG, will update and develop strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Directory of Hormonal Contraceptives (DOHC) database.
The Secretariat welcomes its newest member, Lou Compernolle

Please join the Secretariat in welcoming Ms. Lou Compernolle as a Programme Officer in its Brussels office. Lou, who holds an MA in Sinology and an MSc in Health Policy and Population from the London School of Economics, brings to the Secretariat years of experience in the field of RH. Formerly with WHO’s Reproductive Health and Research programme, Lou played an important role in helping to set up the well known IBP Knowledge Gateway as well as the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery network. Lou also brings with her the energy and self-discipline of having worked for the past three years as a private consultant in the RH field. Many Coalition members will have already met Loueither as part of her ongoing assessment of the Coalition’s Innovation Fund or the backstopping of the Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group. In the coming months, we will see her play an increasingly important role in reaching out to new partners in Francophone West Africa. Lou can be reached directly at lcompernolle@rhsupplies.org.

Bayer HealthCare and USAID launch joint Contraceptive Security Initiative

Coalition members Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceutical (BHC) and USAID have launched a joint, five-year "Contraceptive Security Initiative" that aims to offer middle-income earners in sub-Saharan Africa access to oral contraceptives at affordable prices.


Under this new public-private partnership, Bayer will make available, at low cost, Microgynon® Fe, which is the most widely used oral contraceptive in the world. In exchange, USAID will underwrite BHC's marketing and promotional costs. Ethiopia will be the first beneficiary of the programme’s phased rollout; ten other sub-Saharan nations will follow, beginning with Uganda and Tanzania in mid-2011. For more information, visit the BHC website.

Highlights from the Working Groups
Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG) and Latin America/Caribbean Forum (LAC Forum)

MDA WG and LAC Forum bridge the language divide: In a first for the Coalition, members of the MDA WG and the LAC Forum met via teleconference to discuss the following areas of common interest and opportunities for future collaboration:

  • Market analysis/total market approaches.
  • Procurement processes and quality control.
  • Health-sector reform and decentralization.
  • Graduation from donor support for RH commodities.

Participants recommended that members of the MDA WG, the LAC Forum, and others meet in person to share knowledge, harmonize market analyses, and resolve graduation concerns. A teleconference will be held on 3 March to plan the proposed meeting. For more information, please contact Gloria Castany or Ben Light.

Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

AccessRH: AccessRH is building inventory levels to fulfil anticipated commodity orders. Three WHO/UNFPA prequalified condom manufacturers have signed Letters of Agreement to become AccessRH suppliers. AccessRH currently has approximately 46.1 million condoms in stock at suppliers' premises and is scheduled to add a further 64.8 million in the next few months.


RHInterchange (RHI): The RHI went live on UNFPA's servers in New York on 12 January. This marks a significant step forward in transferring the management of the RHI from JSI to UNFPA. UNFPA staff are now capable of receiving and processing registration requests and logins. The site will continue to be accessed via the Coalition’s website.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMA WG)

First teleconference of the year: The RMA WG met via teleconference earlier this month. The group discussed the Coalition's Innovation Fund and how the RMA WG might better avail itself of the financing opportunities it provides. They also discussed the June Meeting the Challenge anniversary celebration and the HANDtoHAND campaign. Participants agreed to form a HANDtoHAND subgroup; to support the development of a commentary on RH supplies for an upcoming FP-focused issue of Lancet; and to reinvigorate the RMA WG listserv so that members can communicate more often and effectively. The following dates were identified for future teleconferences: 8 March, 19 April, and 31 May.


Co-Leaders continue: Neil Datta and Sandra Jordan were confirmed for another year as co-Leaders of the RMA WG. Members of the group have developed a Working Group Leader’s Terms of Reference, which can be downloaded from the RMA WG homepage. Members are asked to send comments on the document to Suzanne Ehlers and Mercedes Mas de Xaxas at PAI.


Update on Meeting the Challenge anniversary activities: With funding from the Innovation Fund, PAI is preparing for a pre-conference session that it hopes will inspire another decade of successful RH supplies advocacy. Stakeholders from five countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mexico, and Tanzania) are being surveyed about progress and challenges relating to RH supplies over the past decade. The results will inform the deliberations of the pre-conference session, where small teams from each country will identify next steps for the RH supplies advocacy agenda. The country-led contributions and recommendations will then be presented at the high-level Meeting the Challenge commemoration as a solid foundation for critical follow-on activities in the years to come.

Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies (Caucus)

Quarterly meeting update: The Caucus held its first quarterly teleconference of the year this month. Participants agreed to form a small subgroup to plan for a panel presentation at the 2011 Coalition membership meeting; this group will begin meeting in February. Members also discussed the ongoing update of the Caucus' technical product briefs and ideas for improving their dissemination. In addition to a face-to-face meeting in Ethiopia in June, the Caucus agreed on the following teleconference dates for 2011: 12 April, 12 July, and 11 October. Detailed minutes of the January teleconference are available on the Caucus webpage. For more information on the work of the Caucus, or to sign up for the listserv, please contact Bonnie Keith.

Upcoming Events

2-16 March Online discussion forum on Emergency Contraception, sign up
3 March MDA WG/LAC Forum Teleconference
8 March MDA WG Teleconference
8 March RMA WG Teleconference
11 April Caucus Teleconference
20-24 June Meeting the Challenge follow-on meeting and Coalition membership meeting, Addis Ababa
28-29 July People that Deliver conference, Geneva


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

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