September / October 2012 in Review
In The Spotlight
Paris 2012 a resounding success
The 13th annual membership meeting of the Coalition broke new ground with its bilingual format, its active use of social media, and its proactive engagement of more than 200 participants to help shape the next phase of the “Coalition story”. Following this year's evaluation of the Coalition’s significance and value, the meeting which took place on 4–5 October called on members to help steer the Coalition’s efforts in increasing resources, overcoming barriers to reproductive health (RH), forging effective partnerships, strengthening systems, and assuring product safety and effectiveness.
Co-hosted by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting also highlighted outstanding issues in Francophone Africa, and heard from Ms. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French Minister of Women’s Rights, in a video address. Panels on Quality, Choice, the London Family Planning Summit and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities (CoLSC) were accompanied by a well-attended “marketplace” of presentations on a wide array of reproductive health-related subjects. Working Group, Caucus and SECONAF meetings took place earlier in the week. Meeting presentations are now online.
New Innovation Fund awards announced
Round 9 of the Innovation Fund awards has been announced. Four grants were awarded on behalf of the Coalition’s Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMAWG), and one through the Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDAWG):
Marie Stopes Afghanistan will establish a Reproductive Health Caucus within the parliament’s health committee to prioritize RH and mobilize resources to scale up national FP efforts.
The Uganda Family Planning Consortium, the country’s largest non-governmental network of FP service providers and advocates, will improve equitable access to FP by securing supplies, expanding service delivery, and improving partner coordination.
Marie Stopes Tanzania will advocate for increased spending on FP by local governments.
Marie Stopes Sierra Leone will secure the evidence base needed to advocate for removing duties on the importation of FP commodities.
PSI Burundi will assess prospects for social franchising to increase access to high quality, affordable FP products and services in Burundi.
The Innovation Fund translates into action new ideas and approaches for advancing global RH supply security. Made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Innovation Fund has delivered more than US$2 million to member organizations in each of the Coalition’s three Working Groups.
Coalition on the scene
A Forecasting Guide for New and Underused Methods (NUMs) of Family Planning
The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition congratulates partners Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and Population Services International (PSI) on the release of a new forecasting guide that will help programmes introduce a family planning method for the first time in a country, and/or position an underused method for scale up. Financed by the Coalition’s Innovation Fund, via the Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG), A Forecasting Guide for New and Underused Methods of Family Planning is available in PDF and K4Health Toolkit formats.
Authors of the guide hosted a webinar on October 24th which can be viewed here. The link will ask you to run Java on your computer. Once you are in the program, you may have to adjust your speaker settings (Tools>Audio>Audio Set Up Wizard) to hear the recording. Press "play" on the bottom toolbar to start the presentation.
Updated Directory of Hormonal Contraceptives
The Directory of Hormonal Contraceptives
is a comprehensive, online, searchable database that provides detailed information on virtually every hormonal contraceptive drug by brand, manufacturer and country availability. IPPF has completely updated the Directory with the support of the Coalition’s Innovation Fund. The 2012 version also provides information on whether the product is available by prescription only, over the counter, or directly through a clinic. The Directory has 15,000 users in 75 countries.
LAPTOP scholarship applications received
More than 40 supply chain managers from around the world have responded to last month’s announcement of two scholarships to help defray costs of any course listed in LAPTOP, the Coalition’s online database of supply chain courses. These scholarships are made possible through PATH’s Vision Award, given to the Coalition Secretariat this year for outstanding internal programme performance. The application process closed on 29 September and the scholarship recipients will be announced shortly.
Request for Proposal for a Situational Analysis of Reproductive Health medicines
The Concept Foundation invites non-governmental organizations, consultancy firms, academic institutions, and training institutions to submit proposals to conduct situational analyses for RH medicines in four countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal and Senegal. Concept manages a major programme for the Coalition funded by DFID, entitled “Quality of Reproductive Health Medicines” (QuRHM). For more information and to apply, read details and instructions online.
Call for nominations for new Coalition Chair
The Coalition’s current Chair, Julia Bunting, ends her term in June 2013. The process of nominating the next Chair has begun. Holding the senior-most position within the Coalition’s governance structure, the Chair leads from the helm, leveraging their investment in reproductive health to forge vital links, introductions, and ways forward, reinforcing the Coalition’s power of partnership and extending its already far-reaching impact. More details can be found here.
Vacancy for Global South representatives on Executive Committee
The Coalition is currently seeking applicants from organizations wishing to occupy one of two vacant seats on its governing body, the Executive Committee. The seats, which are filled on a two-year, non-renewable basis, are designated for country- or regional-representatives from the Global South. The incumbents will play a key role in ensuring that the Coalition’s policy discussions and decisions remain truly global, and encompass the perspectives and priorities of partners in the Global South. More information can be found here
Generous Hewlett grant initiates search for SECONAF facilitator
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has long supported the active participation of partners from Francophone Africa in the Coalition. In the process, it has laid the groundwork for the emergence of SECONAF, the region’s network. The Foundation’s ongoing support has now culminated in a two-year grant which will has enabled the Coalition Secretariat to recruit a Dakar-based regional facilitator. Terms of reference for the facilitator’s position will be online shortly. For more information, please contact Lou Compernolle.
Coalition presence at key donor coordination meeting
On 20 September, USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) convened a donor coordination meeting where global, multilateral and bilateral partners (RHSC, USAID, UNFPA, PAHO, IDB, and IPPF) and private sector representatives committed to helping LAC governments strengthen integrated supply chains in RH, family planning, maternal and child health, nutrition, and HIV. The Coalition will join with a handful of other agencies to prepare a concept note identifying key areas of need and proposed solutions. For more information on the alliance, contact Kimberly Cole
Highlights from the Working Groups
The SECONAF Forum secured a record turnout at its 3 October meeting in Paris. The half-day event examined the implications of the Ouagadougou partnership and FP2020 and what the two have in mind for the future. A group exercise resulted in a detailed matrix defining different programmes’ objectives, focal countries, and timelines. The group strongly supported the creation of a small regional hub bringing together focal people from major initiatives, and managed by SECONAF.
Market Development Approaches and Systems Strengthening Working Groups
The MDA and Systems Strengthening Working Groups met separately in Paris in the days leading up to the Paris membership meeting. Both meetings were extremely well-attended. With new Leaders in place, discussions focused on the way forward for each Working Group and potential linkages with the Coalition, post London Family Planning Summit (FP 2020), and CoLSC. John Skibiak, Director of the Coalition, addressed both meetings on the vision for the future, setting the stage for subsequent discussions.
The MDA focused on its potential contribution to market shaping while the SSWG explored its contribution to a proposed Secretariat-managed initiative on stockouts. Presentations and minutes are online and follow-up meetings will be scheduled soon. For more information, please contact Bonnie Keith, Ian Askew (MDA), or Leslie Patykewich (SSWG).
Caucus on New and Underused Reproductive Health Technologies
The Caucus held a half-day meeting on 3 October. More than 35 participants discussed possibilities to move forward CoLSC recommendations as well as collaborate with Working Groups on country-level work. The Caucus also decided to remove HPV vaccines from its list, as they are better covered by the efforts of GAVI. After interesting presentations from FHI 360 and Gynuity Health Projects, the Caucus agreed to include pregnancy tests on its list of products.
Caucus on Maternal Health Supplies
The MHS Caucus held its inaugural meeting on 3 October. Participants were briefed on the Coalition’s engagement in MH supplies to date, including a review of the work of the interim MHS Task Force whose recommendations led to this new Caucus. Caucus members explored the possibility of identifying “bridging organizations” to act as liaisons between the Coalition’s other implementing mechanisms. The date of the Caucus’ next teleconference will soon be announced; stay tuned. Please contact Bonnie Keith
for more information.
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