Second Meeting, Washington DC, November 2004
The Second Meeting
From November 10-12, 2004, 45 participants came together in Washington DC to attend the second meeting of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition held at the World Bank. The meeting was intended to give members the opportunity to share organizational perspectives and develop joint strategies in a new, expanded group designed to more closely mirror the "whole market" (i.e., public sector, subsidized commercial and commercial sectors). In addition to the original members of the Coalition, several new organizations participated, including Ghana Social Marketing Foundation International, the Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, and representatives from the Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, the Romanian Ministry of Health, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Partners in Population and Development, and the West African Health Organization. The participation of developing-country representatives was an especially important addition to this meeting.
Issues discussed include:
- Forecasting and coordination of shipments of supplies, including use of the RHInterchange
- The total market approach, and specifically the development of a "second tier" in the market, which serves as a middle-ground between free and subsidized supplies (the third tier) and high price commercial-sector products (the first tier)
- Responding to countries/regions in crisis and how to coordinate action to alleviate shortfalls
- The stated commitment of West African Ministers of Health to contraceptive supply security
One significant outcome of the meeting was the development of an initiative to focus on countries at risk of reproductive health (RH) commodity shortfalls, the Countries at Risk (CAR) group, a subgroup of the Coalition under the leadership of the United Nations Population Fund, which aims to respond to countries at immediate risk of contraceptive stockouts. The participants in this initiative include the United States Agency for International Development, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the World Bank, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, the German KfW Development Bank, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This group will identify countries at immediate risk of stockouts, develop an alert and response mechanism, initiate follow-up with these countries, and determine how to effectively use this situation as a "teachable moment."