May 2012 in Review        
In The Spotlight
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From 4–5 October 2012, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host the Coalition’s 13th General Membership Meeting in Paris. As in past years, the two-day membership meeting will cap a week’s work of events, including Working Group, Forum, Caucus, and other side meetings. In preparation for the event, the Coalition has blocked rooms at a number of hotels near the meeting venue. These can now be reserved online via the Coalition’s website.

The Secretariat is welcoming members' suggestions for the agenda. Are there guests who could contribute to interesting panel discussions? Are there subjects on which you or your organization would like to present? All thoughts and ideas are welcome. Please send them to Hannah Pandian at the Secretariat.
Coalition on the scene
2012 Product Briefs online: now including maternal health supplies

The Coalition’s Caucus on New and Underused Reproductive Health Technologies has now put online an updated set of technical product briefs. The briefs cover 13 technologies and provide concise but comprehensive technical overviews of each technology, as well as information on efficacy, suppliers, and pricing agreements. Products include contraceptives, maternal health supplies, and vaccines.

Download briefs online or contact Bonnie Keith for further information.

The Coalition and the Family Planning Summit 2012
The last five months have seen the Coalition throw all its weight behind preparations for this July’s Family Planning Summit 2012. Secretariat staff members are in two of the Summit’s three Working Groups (Metrics/Accountability and Communications); they are members of the steering committee that recently drafted the sign-on letter highlighting civil society commitments; and they are co-hosting a number of side events, including one on accountability. In the meantime, the Resource Mobilization and Advocacy Working Group is publishing an overview of pressing policy changes that will be delivered at the accountability side event. For more information of the FP Summit 2012, you can access online what the organizers are calling the “zero draft”. For more information, contact Lou Compernolle.
Bellagio meeting addresses improving access to long-acting reversible contraceptives

Leaders and specialists on contraceptive security met in May to brainstorm opportunities to improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in developing countries.  The meeting at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio was co-sponsored by Population Council, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. Among key aims were: studying and understanding barriers to LARC access, forging corporate strategies to sidestep these barriers, and understanding donor motivations and capabilities.

Recommendations and a call to action are to be released shortly. Please contact John Skibiak for more information.

Innovation Fund continues to strengthen procurement processes in LAC

Under the support of the Coalition’s Innovation Fund, PRISMA in Peru has translated and adapted PATH’s manual, the Procurement Capacities Toolkit, for users in the region. PRISMA has also designed a pilot course on procurement of reproductive health supplies aimed at the Latin American public sector.

Civil servants and procurement specialists from Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay attended the five-day course in Panama. In November, PRISMA will host another course on procurement in the region.

For more information, please contact José Ventura or Nathali Romainville.

LAC Forum workshop harnesses country commitments

Personal and institutional commitments were the focus of a recent meeting in Panama. Members of the Coalition’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Forum came together with six countries in the Salud Mesoamérica 2015 Initiative (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama). The workshop focused on cost-effective strategies for maternal and child health, and flagged up ways in which LAC Forum partners can help countries reach their own particular goals. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has committed to providing tailored technical and financial support for each participating country. This effort is ongoing and progress updates will be published regularly. More information is available on the workshop web page or from Gloria Castany.

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (Brussels, Belgium)
The Coalition is looking to hire a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer who will strengthen its ability to shape and oversee its work in monitoring and measurement. This position will provide technical support and guidance to the working groups, forums and task forces, and support the Coalition-wide efforts in strategic planning and reporting. The complete job description is online.
Bill Gates briefed on Sino-implant (II)

During a recent visit to China, Bill Gates met with representatives of two other Coalition members FHI 360 and Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Under a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FHI 360 has been providing technical assistance to Dahua to facilitate the introduction of Sino-implant (II) — a long-acting, low-cost, contraceptive implant — in resource-constrained countries.  That support has enabled Dahua to obtain product registrations in 19 countries and facilitate sales of over 700,000 units of Sino-implant (II), yielding, in the process, commodity cost savings of US$8.4 million.

For more information on FHI 360’s work on Sino-implant (II), visit:

Congratulations to Marleen Temmerman
Marleen Temmerman is to be the next Director of the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research.  A Belgian national, Professor Temmerman became the country’s first female gynecology professor in 1992. Two years later she launched the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH). In 2007, she was elected to the Belgian national Senate where she sits on the Commission on Social Affairs and the Commission on Foreign Affairs.  A true friend of the Coalition, Professor Temmerman has long supported greater engagement by the Belgian government in our work. Earlier this year, ICRH became the Coalition’s 186th member. We wish Professor Temmerman every success in her new post.
Coalition welcomes new members

The Coalition welcomed three new members in April, bringing the current membership to 194.

• Women's International Network for Guatemalan Solutions (WINGS) provides access to family planning education reproductive health services in Guatemala 
• Asociación Guatemalteca de Mujeres Médicas (AGMM) is an organization of professional women in the health sector who promote and defend women's development and rights in Guatemala
• African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) is a policy think tank promoting the use of research in decision-making and resource allocation in the field of sexual and reproductive health and other public health issues in Africa

Highlights from the Working Groups
Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Fifteen members of the Working Group assembled in Washington, DC for a two-day meeting. During the event, participants discussed a range of issues including their participation at the upcoming Family Planning Summit 2012, an upcoming meeting on underused contraceptive methods, future areas of work (such as demand generation) and indeed the future of the Working Group itself. Participants also discussed their role within an evolving Coalition, prospects for Secretariat support, and the functionality of the Working Groups in general. Working Group Leader Mimi Whitehouse will share these suggestions with the Executive Committee when she attends their next meeting June 25-26 in London. Minutes from the meeting will be available on the SSWG webpage shortly. For more information, please contact Bonnie Keith or Mimi Whitehouse.

Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs):

In May, the CARhs provided information and assistance in support of improved RH supply chain management for 10 issues in 7 countries. One of the highlights was: in Togo, a new shipment was created for male condoms for support to Population Services International (PSI). Contact Joe Abraham for more information. 

Upcoming events

25-26 JuneExecutive Committee Meeting, London
28-29 JuneFrancophone Forum (SECONAF) Advocacy Group training, Brussels
11 JulyFamily Planning Summit 2012, London
22-27 July XIX International AIDS Conference, Washington DC
4-5 OctCoalition Annual Membership Meeting, Paris
7-12 Oct 2012 FIGO World Congress of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Rome, Italy

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