March 2008 in Review
In the spotlight
Dalberg Consulting Services awarded MVG/PG contract

The World Bank this month awarded a contract to Dalberg Consulting Services for the Minimum Volume Guarantee/Pledge Guarantee (MVG/PG) project, based on a competitive Quality Based Selection (QBS). Dalberg earned the highest overall technical score of 83.15% for their superior proposal, which included a high score in the area of adequacy of the methodology and proposed work plan. Dalberg convincingly demonstrated more strengths in their approach to carry out successfully the assignment than the other suppliers who tendered. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project was initiated on December 14, 2007 and concluded on February 29, 2008.

Over the course of the next months, Dalberg will be contacting Coalition members for interviews as it works through the Terms of Reference of the project. It is hoped that the results of the study will be presented at the May Coalition membership meeting. For more information on the MVG/PG, go to the MVG/PG page on the Coalition website or contact the Secretariat.

Coalition on the scene
Four new members joined this month

Four new members joined the Coalition in March, bringing the total number of members to 54. The new members are:

  • Countdown 2015 Europe: A three-year project implemented by a consortium of 10 partners and 8 associates that together cover 16 European countries. Countdown 2015 Europe aims to increase financial support of European donors for reproductive health (RH) supplies and narrow the gaps between the needs, demand and availability of supplies. It is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Equilibres & Populations (E&P): A French non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 1993 by physicians and journalists to heighten awareness of global population and health trends and their consequences among French policy decision-makers, the media, and the public. It is the only French NGO dedicated to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) as well as population issues at large.

  • Gujarat AIDS Awareness and Prevention (GAP): an Indian NGO working in the field of SRHR including HIV/AIDS with 20 years of experience. GAP's activities include capacity building, targeted intervention, and advocacy for the female condom and microbicides.

  • World Population Foundation (WPF): a Dutch NGO working for SRHR through advocacy at national and European level, and projects in 10 developing countries related to building comprehensive sexuality education programmes, gender-based violence, and safe motherhood.

To apply for membership in the Coalition, click here.

Plans progress for May membership meeting

The Secretariat will be sending out invitations shortly to the ninth Coalition membership meeting, which will be hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on May 22-23, 2008. The meeting aims to showcase Europe’s role within the Coalition’s Strategic Plan, share new knowledge and lessons learned, engage an expanded membership, and define key activities in the year ahead. A draft agenda for the meeting has been reviewed by the Executive Committee and will also be circulated to delegates shortly. The table below gives an outline of activities to be held during the week of the meeting. Contact the Secretariat for any further information.

Mon. 19


Tues. 20


Wed. 21


Thurs. 22


Fri. 23

SSWG meeting


RHinterchange visioning meeting


Executive Committee meeting

Prequalification workshop

RMA WG meeting



Membership meeting




Membership meeting


Supply gap revisited

Since it was first introduced in 2001, the supply gap analysis has been an effective advocacy tool for highlighting the shortfall between public sector demand for contraceptive supplies and the availability of donor resources to procure them. Earlier this year, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT contracted the Connecticut-based Futures Institute to update the analysis.

On March 25, consultants John Stover and Eva Weissman presented their preliminary findings to an informal gathering of representatives from PAI, JSI, and the Secretariat. During the discussion, the consultants outlined the range of potential options for estimating supply and demand (such as composition of country sample, sector definitions, calculation of costs, inclusion/exclusion of condoms for HIV, length of time projection, etc.), and presented results of those estimates, depending on the options chosen.

Based on suggestions made at the meeting, Futures Institute will re-do some of the analyses and submit a revised report in the coming weeks. This draft version will be made available to a wider group of stakeholders for comment. For more information, contact Paul Dowling, Senior Technical Adviser, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT.

Spain hosts UNFPA donor consultation

This month was a testament to Spain’s emergence as a key player in European efforts to assure global access to RH supplies. On March 4, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the most recent bi-lateral agency to join the Coalition’s ranks, hosted UNFPA’s annual gathering of European donors to the Global Programme. Ms. Milagros Hernando Echevarria, Director General of Development Policy Planning and Evaluation, opened the event by welcoming representatives from Austria, Cataluña, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, UK, as well as the Spanish IPPF affiliate, FPFE, and other national agencies involved in the field of RH and HIV/AIDS.

Representing the Coalition, Director John Skibiak updated participants on current Coalition workstreams, highlighted the growing level of member support for this work, and invited those non-members present to join the Coalition's rapidly expanding network of partners.

New financing study launched in West Africa

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) and KfW Entwicklungsbank have contracted the consortium GITEC/HERA/Credes to conduct a feasibility study on financing mechanisms for RH commodities. The study will explore ways in which financing mechanisms can contribute to better sexual and reproductive health and broader commodity security in countries comprising the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Earlier this month, Director John Skibiak and KfW Entwicklungsbank Consultant Sandra Rolet joined representatives of eight collaborating agencies, including USAID and the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, to launch the new study, divide work among partners, and share data collection methodologies and resources. During the meeting, participants received updates on the work now underway to test the MVG/PG proof of concept (see lead article). They also asked for information about a host of Coalition-related activities such as the RHInterchange (RHI), the Reproductive Health Contraceptive Security resources database, and the advocacy toolkit (the latter two to be launched shortly on the Coalition website) – all of which they felt had direct relevance for the study and region.

For more information on the study including the workshop report, please contact Wolfgang Theis, Senior Programme Manager of KfW Entwicklungsbank. 

Project RMA meeting organized in Brussels

Last month, Brussels-based representatives of the Coalition, Countdown 2015 Europe, Project RMA, UNFPA Brussels, and the European Parliamentary Forum met for half a day to update one another on their recent work and future plans. Organized by Mercedes Mas de Xaxas (PAI) at the Brussels offices of DSW, participants learned about Project RMA’s small grants programme as well as their sponsorship of regional advocacy conferences in Uganda and Burkina Faso. The newest of the supply advocacy partnerships, Countdown 2015 Europe, presented an overview of its advocacy work, including the construction of a database to track European funding of RH supplies. And lastly, UNFPA announced plans to join forces with the Coalition and partners in developing a global RH advocacy strategy.

Participants found the meeting to be informative and agreed to reconvene at a future date, perhaps in conjunction with other Brussels-based gatherings, such as the upcoming Coalition membership meeting.

Highlights from the Working Groups
Working Group revitalization

Following the recent exponential increase in the number of members in the Coalition, Working Group (WG) membership has also grown, as shown in the following table: 


WG Organizations WG leader
Systems Strengthening 25 Alan Bornbusch
Market Development Approaches 35 Ben Light
Resource Mobilization and Awareness 25 Valerie DeFillipo

This growth in membership has meant increased organizational duties for the WG leaders – more people to contact, increased involvement of existing workstreams, and possible increases in new workstreams. Identifying strategies for engaging a growing membership will be discussed during a half-day session at the May membership meeting, which will include a panel discussion and WG break-out sessions. 

Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Countries at Risk (CAR): A meeting was held in March with Ethiopia, Ghana, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Uganda featured on the agenda. Regulatory authority changes covering the inserts of contraceptive packaging in one country led to rapid negotiation at country level to prevent a shortage. These regulations need to be borne in mind for future shipments. For another country, production problems for one particular brand of injectable contraceptive led to an alternative being suggested in order to cover clients. So although the brand will not be available, clients will be able to obtain a substitute.

Once again, the CAR group has benefited greatly from the Procurement and Pipeline Monitoring Report provided by the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT. The report compiles country data each month and flags actual as well as potential stockouts and over-stocks. Reports are available on the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT website but require a password for access. Contact Trisha Long, CPT/PipeLine Program Officer, for more information.

RHI: In late February, UNFPA and JSI undertook a second joint mission to introduce the RHI to stakeholder organizations in Nepal, and elicit feedback for website improvements and anticipated support needs. The team, Jane Feinberg of JSI and Klaus Greifenstein of UNFPA's Procurement Services Branch, met with the Ministry of Health, donor partners, and NGOs.

As a result of the mission, Nepal's central public-sector procurement unit, the Ministry of Health and Population Logistics Management Division, is likely to share its contraceptive purchasing information with the RHI. A synthesis paper of findings from the seven country visits (Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Burkina Faso, and Nepal) will be prepared in time for the Working Group/Coalition meetings in May.

Contact SSWG Head, Alan Bornbusch, for more information on the SSWG.

Upcoming Events

8 April MDA WG teleconference; 17.00 (CET); 16.00 (GMT); 11.00 (CET); 8.00 (PST)
10 April Meeting to brainstorm development of global advocacy strategy for SRH; Brussels, Belgium
24-25 April Project RMA RH supplies advocacy meeting; Kampala, Uganda 
5 May Supply Chain Management software review; New York, USA
21-23 May Coalition Membership and Executive Committee Meetings; Brussels, Belgium
18-20 June Reproductive Health in Emergencies Conference 2008; Kampala, Uganda (see for more details)