September 2011 in Review        
In the Spotlight
Giving legs to HANDtoHAND

This month, 24 representatives from across the Coalition met in New York to discuss the transformation of what began as a rallying call—the HANDtoHAND Campaign—into a strategic plan for reaching 100 million additional users of modern contraception by 2015. Hosted by the Population Council, the two-day event saw advocates, demographers, program specialists, and business professionals work toward two objectives: fleshing out the core elements of such a strategic plan and defining the role key stakeholders—the Coalition and the Secretariat, in particular—could play in that process.


Participants identified at least six broad areas where they felt the Coalition’s role was critical. Within each of these, specific activities were identified, including those where the Secretariat was seen to have a distinct comparative advantage.

  • Coordinating partner efforts to measure and monitor progress.
  • Assembling key criteria to guide strategic action.
  • Tracking commitments and helping to shape their contents.
  • Engaging countries.
  • Communicating a coherent narrative of progress and lessons learned.
  • Positioning the campaign at the center of global development efforts.


During June's Access for All conference, much discussion centered on how HANDtoHAND could become a core—some even suggested central—mandate of the Coalition. The findings and recommendations of this most recent gathering, therefore, will be critical as the Executive Committee meets in Seattle this October to begin shaping the Coalition’s priorities and workplan through 2015. For more information, contact Lou Compernolle at the Coalition Secretariat.

Coalition on the scene
Every Woman Every Child highlights HANDtoHAND Campaign

On 20 September, heads of state and leading stakeholders representing the commercial and non-profit sectors met at the United Nations Secretariat to recognize the significant progress made by the Every Woman Every Child effort. Launched one year ago during the Millennium Development Goals Summit, Every Woman Every Child puts into action the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which aims to save 16 million lives by 2015.


In association with the events, the UN Secretary-General's office distributed an annual report highlighting this year's commitments to the Global Strategy, including those made by Coalition members through the HANDtoHAND Campaign. Also distributed at the UN events was a the first annual progress report of the Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health, which shares the HANDtoHAND goal of reaching 100 million additional users of modern family planning by 2015.

Update on Implanon Access Initiative

This month, donors and procurers were briefed on developments with the recently launched Implanon Access Initiative. The initiative, which combines price deductions and improved financing and procurement, was announced at Access for All and is the outcome of efforts by many Coalition partners to improve access to affordable contraception. During the teleconference, participants discussed a host of issues, including country eligibility, financing options, and better alignment of planning and manufacturing capabilities. Key points that emerged from the discussion include the following:

  • New prices will be available to all countries in sub-Saharan Africa, all low-income countries as defined by the World Bank, and all lower middle-income countries with maternal mortality ratios of 200 deaths per 100,000 women and above. According to UN estimates, these countries account for more than 90 percent of maternal deaths in the developing world.
  • Customer eligibility includes donors and family planning organizations that are members of the Coalition as well as government programs that serve poor, disadvantaged, or disproportionately impacted populations.
  • More than 700,000 units of Implanon have been shipped since June's Access for All conference.
  • Use of the Pledge Guarantee for Health will make it possible to accelerate procurement and, by 2012, reach about 40 percent more women than would otherwise be reached at historic procurement levels. 

For more information, contact John Skibiak.

Coalition presence at the International Conference on Family Planning

The Coalition will host an auxiliary event at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal. The event, to be held on the morning of 29 November, will be one of several pre-conference sessions and will focus on building awareness about RH commodity security and the work now under way by the Coalition and its members to achieve it. Targeted primarily toward non-Coalition attendees, the session will also showcase key events and outcomes from the Access for All conference.


Working Groups will have the opportunity to hold individual meetings on the afternoon of the 29th. Currently, the RMA WG and Francophone Forum have scheduled sessions. More information on these meetings will be shared through the individual Working Group listservs. The Coalition is also working with WHO and UNFPA to organize an auxiliary event on RH commodity security under the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) initiative.


Finally, if you or your organization will be participating in any sessions related to commodity security or the Coalition while in Dakar, please share the details with Bonnie Keith. The Secretariat is tracking all such events and will plan to ensure representation where feasible. For more information on the Coalition's presence in Dakar, please contact Bonnie Keith at the Secretariat.

Pledge Guarantee for Health highlights value-for-money message

Although the Pledge Guarantee for Health (PGH) was created to address volatile donor funding flows, its goal has always been to enhance donor value for money. And in today's climate of global austerity, where development assistance is flat or declining, ensuring that every dollar delivers more commodities to more beneficiaries is key if we expect to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. To reaffirm this commitment, PGH has enhanced its advocacy efforts by targeting key bilateral and multilateral decision-makers through both public advertisements in international media and personal outreach from champions. In addition, PGH is hosting high-level events at key industry conferences to bring the message directly to developing-country leaders. The goal of increased value for money is shared by both donors and recipients alike, and is one to which PGH is publicly committed. For more information on the PGH, please contact Aron Betru, PGH Director at the UN Foundation.

WHO prequalifies first generic hormonal contraceptive
This month, WHO announced the prequalification of the first generic hormonal contraceptive. The product—manufactured by Famy Care Ltd. at their facilities in Gujarat, India—is an ethinylestradiol (.03mg) plus levonorgestrel (.15mg) combined contraceptive pill. With the addition of this formulation, there are now nine hormonal contraceptives prequalified by WHO. Please click here to see the complete list of WHO prequalified supplies.
Coalition welcomes three new members in September

In September, the Coalition welcomed three new members, bringing total membership to 153. Learn more about them by clicking on the following links:

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

Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs): To ensure effective supply-chain management, this month saw the CARhs respond to 13 requests for information on upcoming shipments in eight countries. Highlights include:

  • Nicaragua: low supplies of Norigynon® will be managed by the Ministry of Health through the procurement of a generic product, effectively “graduating” this particular product from donor assistance.
  • Senegal: UNFPA will coordinate information-sharing with local stakeholders to improve communications relating to commodity status and inventory levels.

Contact Joe Abraham of UNFPA for more information.

Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group (RMA WG)

Working Group elections: Sandra Jordan has announced that she will be stepping down as Leader of the RMA WG, effective November. A call for nominations has been sent out to all members of the RMA WG, and individuals interested in running for the position should contact Lou Compernolle with the Secretariat. Communications regarding the election process will be sent out to RMA WG members via the listserv in the coming weeks.

Francophone Forum (SECONAF)

Mapping key recommendations for contraceptive security in the region: Based on recommendations from the Access for All pre-conference sessions, SECONAF (Sécurité contraceptive en Afrique Francophone) has launched a consultancy to synthesize key findings from major regional conferences and other meetings on contraceptive security over the past several years. The consultancy will seek to spur action in the Francophone region by identifying potential hurdles and generating a rallying call for stakeholders. Results of the report will be presented at a meeting of SECONAF to be held in Dakar on the eve of the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning. For more information, please contact Lou Compernolle or Gloria Castany.

Latin America/Caribbean Forum on RH Commodity Security (LAC Forum)

LAC Forum launches study on contraceptive security in region: Following on the heels of a preliminary landscaping analysis presented in Addis, the LAC Forum has initiated a study to further identify priority gaps threatening contraceptive security in the region, focusing on the Forum's comparative advantage as a vehicle for addressing them. For more information on this study, please contact Gloria Castany within the Secretariat or Ricardo Vernon (INSAD), principal researcher of the study.


LAC Forum to meet with Inter-American Development Bank (IADB): At its annual meeting in Panama, the LAC Forum began fleshing out possible proposals to submit to the IADB, which had expressed interest in supporting work related to RH commodity security in the region. The LAC Forum has scheduled three meetings with representatives of the IADB to further develop these proposals and subsequently present them in December. For more information on these meetings, please contact Gloria Castany at the Secretariat.

Upcoming Events

4 OctCanadian premier of Empty Handed: Responding to the Demand for Contraceptives, Ottawa
4-5 OctEC Jamboree, New York
6 OctMDA WG Teleconference
11 OctRMA WG Teleconference
12-14 OctExecutive Committee retreat, Seattle
18-20 OctCoalition Secretariat staff retreat, Seattle
23 OctAccess to Reproductive Health Supplies–Challenges, Barriers and Opportunities in Developing Countries, World Health Summit, Berlin
25 OctCaucus Teleconference
28 NovSECONAF meeting, Dakar
29 NovCoalition auxiliary event, Dakar
29 Nov     RMA WG meeting, Dakar
29 Nov2 DecInternational Conference on Family Panning, Dakar


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

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