October 2010 in Review
In the spotlight
Empty Handed wins Global Media Award

The Population Institute has selected the video Empty Handed as a winner in its 31st annual Global Media Awards for Excellence in Population Reporting. Produced by PAI with funding from the Coalition’s Innovation Fund, Empty Handed tells the story of women’s lack of access to reproductive health supplies in sub-Saharan Africa, and its impact on their lives. Each year the Institute honours journalists, filmmakers, radio and television show hosts, and editorial cartoonists from around the world who highlight population issues. The awards recognize those who have contributed to greater public awareness of the challenges relating to population and reproductive health. 

Entries were evaluated on the basis of accuracy, fairness, clarity of message, and contribution to public debate on population and reproductive health. PAI will receive the Best Film or Miniseries award for Empty Handed at an awards banquet to be held on 2 December in San Francisco. To view the video, please click here.

Coalition on the scene
Country supply profiles now online

This month, the Coalition’s website launched a new section containing detailed supply-related profiles on the Coalition’s focus countries. The three-page profiles provide an overview of the supply context in each country, followed by more in-depth information on commodity financing and the status of the logistics system itself. Quantitative and qualitative information on each country is drawn from Coalition membersmany located within the countries themselves. For those wishing to learn more, links on each page offer access to an even wider set of databases and websites, including the latest local news. The first five country profiles are now online (Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Nicaragua) with the remaining nine scheduled for completion by year’s end. To learn more about the country profilesor to contribute to them, please contact Guillaume Jaskula at the Secretariat.

HANDtoHAND commitments keep rolling in

In the month since the launch of the UN Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health, Coalition members continue committing themselves to reduce unmet need for modern family planning by 100 million women by 2015. This month, the following pledges were received by the Secretariat and forwarded to the UN Secretary General’s office.  By 2015:

  • APROFAM/Guatemala will increase delivery of FP services by 50 percent and couple-years-of-protection by 25 percent.
  • DFID will save the lives of at least 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborn babies; it will also help 10 million couples access modern FP methods.
  • Merck MSD will maintain up-to-date health registrations, prequalify FP products with WHO, and make products available at deeply discounted prices.
  • PAI will support civil-society partners in RH supplies advocacy, pursue new advocacy-oriented research opportunities, and ensure that major global initiatives feature RH supplies.
  • Population Council will test the effectiveness and acceptability of new RH technologies and develop relationships to license, register, and/or manufacture them. 
  • PRISMA will conduct at least five classroom and seven distance-learning courses per year in supply chain management (SCM) and incorporate SCM in health training curricula regionally.
  • PSI will provide 12.3 million individuals with contraceptives per year, and distribute a total of 4.2 billion male condoms, 158 million oral contraceptives, 26 million female condoms, 32 million injectables, 11 million doses of emergency contraception, 3.5 million IUDs, and 460,000 implants. 
  • UNFPA commits to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate by two percentage points per year in 45 target countries.

To join the HANDtoHAND Campaign or to view the full list of commitments to date, consult the Coalition’s website or contact John Skibiak, Coalition Director.  

HANDtoHAND showcased at Countdown 2015 Conference

Countdown 2015 Europe, a consortium of European NGOs working to promote reproductive health services and supplies, showcased the Coalition’s HANDtoHAND Campaign at a meeting of technical experts from European Union member states, the European Commission, UN agencies, and civil society organizations. The meeting, which was organised on 7 October by IPPF's European Network, enabled civil servants and members of civil society to review the implementation of commitments made by heads of state and government at September’s UN MDG Summit in New York. During the meeting, participants addressed the challenges of budget support and the need to make it more effective. They discussed the importance of tracking government funds allocated to achieve MDG 5b, as well as the need for clear indicators to measure progress. Finally, they were provided with information detailing the efficiencies and cost savings that derive from the inclusion of family planning within efforts to improve maternal health. For more information, contact Project Coordinator An Huybrechts

Coalition welcomes its newest members

This month the Coalition welcomes one new member, bringing its total membership to 126:

  • Venture Strategies for Health and Development (VHSD): VHSD is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of people in low-resource countries by reducing barriers that inhibit access to options about childbearing, supporting the availability of promising health technologies with potential for large-scale global impact, and increasing understanding of the feasibility of slowing population growth within a voluntary, human rights framework.
Secretariat staff meet and retreat

The Secretariat’s global staff assembled in Brussels for a week of meetings centred on strategic planning and workplan development. Staff from Brussels, Seattle, and Washington, DC convened to brainstorm, plan, and communicate priorities, needs, and successes. Outcomes of the retreat included mapping the Coalition’s extensive communications needs, identifying improved mechanisms for supporting the Working Groups and cross-cutting Forums, and planning for reporting and budgeting within the Coalition’s recently diversified donor base. Secretariat staff were joined by Ms. Lou Compernolle, who will officially come on-board as a Technical Officer in January 2011.

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

Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs): In October, the CARhs addressed five requests for shipment information from three countries. In addition, they took the following actions:

  • In Ghana, USAID expedited shipments of Depo-Provera to the Ministry of Health and Ghana Exp Social Marketing Company to relieve or avert central-level stock-outs. The CARhs is also investigating the possibility of relieving central-level stock-outs of progestin-only pills by shipping from countries where over-stocks currently exist.  
  • In Zambia, USAID expedited a shipment of Depo-Provera to the Zambia MOH in an effort to maintain stock reserves.
  • In Kenya, UNFPA is pursuing efforts to expedite shipments of implants and combined oral contraceptives to replenish the MOH's central stocks, which are currently at critical levels.

Contact Kevin Pilz for more information. 

Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies (Caucus)

Quarterly update: The Caucus held its second quarterly teleconference on 12 October, which was attended by 11 members. Participants agreed to review the nine Technical Product Briefs on an annual basis to ensure they are as up-to-date and accurate as possible; this process is now underway. Members also determined who, in addition to the Working Group Liaisons, would attend the November Working Group meetings and identified potential workstreams to be pursued in collaboration with each Working Group. Finally, Caucus members began framing ideas for a panel on new and underused technologies at the Coalition's 2011 annual membership meeting. Minutes of the teleconference can be accessed here. For more information, please contact Bonnie Keith.

Upcoming Events

2-3 Nov SSWG meeting, London
5 Nov Executive Committee meeting, London
8-9 Nov EuroNGOs Annual Conference, London
10-11 Nov RMA WG meeting, London
11-12 Nov MDA WG meeting, Washington, DC
12-14 Nov PMNCH Partners' Forum Meeting, New Delhi
7-9 Dec Workshop on WHO/UNFPA Prequalification of Female Condoms, Bangkok

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

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