July 2007 in Review



In the spotlight



Communications Task Force focuses on strategy and website

Members of the Coalition’s Communications Task Force—Mimi Whitehouse, Caroline Jane Kent, Beatriz de la Mora, Chris Wells, Catherine Potter, Guillaume Jaskula, and Steve Kinzett—met in Brussels on July 26–27 to begin formulating a communications strategy and discuss the content and format of a new website. The group highlighted the importance of internal communications, including the need to make our Strategic Plan more accessible and understandable. They also felt that it was key to raise the profile of reproductive health (RH) supplies and commodity security, both globally and at country level.

The Task Force developed a detailed site structure for the new Coalition website using input from their respective organisations as well as the results of a questionnaire sent out recently to around 30 current Coalition partners and more than 130 people from multilateral and bilateral organisations, technical agencies, pharmaceutical companies, foundations, and low- and moderate-income countries. Respondents highlighted the need for more information, links, and news about RH supplies within and outside the Coalition, as well as a higher level of interactivity. Next steps include the identification of a web agency and content management system. Contact Catherine Potter at cpotter@path.org for more details.





Coalition on the scene




Plans advance for October’s membership meeting

Plans for the Coalition’s semi-annual membership meeting on October 24–25 are taking shape. Population Action International (PAI) has organised a reception on the evening of October 25 following the second day of the meeting. The reception will take place at the Stewart Mott House on Capitol Hill and will be attended by representatives of the US Congress, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US Department of State.

In addition, Kevin Pilz, LAC Planning Committee coordinator, has submitted to the Secretariat a narrative outline of themes and issues to be addressed at the meeting. This proposal details the five themes reported in last month’s newsletter. The proposal will be submitted to the Executive Committee as it reviews other items and topics for inclusion in the agenda. Here is an overview of the October meeting schedule as it stands so far. Contact the Secretariat for more details.

Mon. 22


Tues. 23


Wed. 24


Thurs. 25


Fri. 26










Free for Working Group Meetings


Executive Committee Meeting


Membership Meeting


Membership Meeting


RMA Working Group Meeting


Executive Committee Dinner






M&E efforts build on the Strategic Plan

Outcomes and recommendations from the June meeting of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialists have now been incorporated into the Strategic Plan and sent back to them. The new draft and explanation of the changes will be sent to the Strategic Plan Task Force for review before being sent to the Executive Committee for approval.

Meanwhile, Steve Kinzett has begun working on an M&E plan. In assembling the plan, Steve is exploring the availability of baseline data; identifying appropriate units of measurement for indicators; setting targets for 2009–2015; identifying who will collect data and how; and establishing criteria for the selection of countries for monitoring. Contact the Secretariat for more information.

Membership Task Force work progresses

Throughout the month of July, consultant David Johnson of HLSP has been interviewing members of the Membership Task Force and other key contacts. Based on this research, he will prepare a discussion paper for review by the Task Force. A Task Force meeting originally scheduled for the week of August 13 looks set to be delayed due to scheduling conflicts.

David’s preliminary landscape review and consolidation of findings represent the beginnings of a three-part process to formulate recommendations on membership for submission to the Executive Committee. These recommendations will include the composition and structure of Coalition membership and an operational plan to implement them. Contact the Secretariat for more details.

Nominations for Co-Chair still being accepted

As reported in the May newsletter, the Secretariat is accepting nominations for the post of Co-Chair currently occupied by Margret Verwijk. 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.


Coalition input sought for DFID inquiry

Coalition members are strongly encouraged to provide input to an inquiry into maternal health being carried out by the UK's International Development Committee. The main purpose of the inquiry will be to examine how donors—particularly DFID—can support progress toward the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by 2015. There are 11 questions in the inquiry, which can be accessed here. Please send your input to the Secretariat by the beginning of September, prior to the deadline of September 14.





Highlights from the Working Groups


Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Planning is underway for an evaluation of computerised tools for Supply Chain Systems and Supplies Management. A technical workshop day on the subject will be held just prior to or just after the October membership meeting. Please send suggestions to Alan Bornbusch at abornbusch@usaid.gov.

Meanwhile, members of the Countries-at-Risk (CAR) subgroup met by teleconference in mid-July to address reports of threatened stock-outs in Uganda, Bangladesh, and Kenya. Although the ability to resolve certain issues were deemed to be beyond the capacity of the group, in Kenya prospects were good that UNFPA would be able to provide some short-term relief in the form of female condoms and possibly emergency contraception. Once again, inadequate long-term procurement planning was cited as the main source of many current issues. For more information, contact Steve Kinzett at skinzett@path.org.

Fact sheets about the RH Interchange (RHI) and navigation instructions have been added to the web site in English, French, and Spanish. Contact Jane Feinberg at jane_feinberg@jsi.com for more information.


Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG)

The MDA WG met by teleconference and agreed to hold a face-to-face meeting in Washington, DC on October 1–3. It was agreed that the first day of the meeting would be devoted to a “manufacturer’s forum”, which would set the stage for brokering a new relationship between the Coalition and big pharmaceutical companies and generic manufacturers. The second day would be mainly devoted to presentations from invited guests to re-invigorate the work of the MDA group. For more information, contact Ben Light at light@unfpa.org.

Resource Mobilisation and Awareness Working Group (Project RMA)

A trip to Tanzania originally planned for late-July (as reported in last month’s newsletter) has been rescheduled for the beginning of September to gather the evidence base for the country advocacy work of Project RMA. Tanzania, along with Burkina Faso and Uganda are three of the up to six focus countries for Project RMA.

Meanwhile, the USAID Health Policy Initiative continues to edit and incorporate feedback from the April RMA Working Group meeting in London into the Advocacy Toolkit, which will be available at the October membership meeting.

Also within Project RMA, PAI issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in August 2006 seeking to work, through small grants, with global NGO networks who were interested in increasing their involvement in the RH supplies issue. As a result of this RFP, PAI is working with five partners to advance a common advocacy agenda for reproductive health supplies – click here to see reports of the work under these small grants. Contact Carolyn Vogel at CVogel@popact.org for more information.





Upcoming events


28 August

Market Development Approaches (MDA) Teleconference; 11.00–12.00 EST

1–3 October

Market Development Approaches (MDA) Working Group meeting; Washington, DC


8–9 October

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

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

29–31 October

4th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights; Hyderabad, India






Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

Rue Marie-Thérèse, 21
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 210.02.22
Fax: +32 (0)2 219.33.63
Website: www.rhsupplies.org