Third Meeting, Seattle 2005
The Third Meeting
On May 19-20 2005, 45 participants came together to attend the third meeting of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. The meeting gave members the opportunity to discuss progress on their efforts aiming toward a full supply of reproductive health (RH) commodities. The Working Groups were able to update the members on their activities and assess objectives and plan next steps. The current Working Groups are:
- Systems Strengthening: The goal of this group is to strengthen global, regional, and country systems for reliable and predictable supply of quality RH supplies. This will be accomplished by increasing and strengthening joint efforts for timely access to and use of information to align financing and product flows to meet country needs; developing solutions to drive increased reliability, predictability, and efficiency of financing for short- and long-term supply needs, and establishing mechanisms to support effective delivery of quality supplies.
- Resource Mobilization and Awareness: This Working Group aims to collaborate with Coalition members to ensure RH and RH supplies remain on the global development agenda, increase and strengthen advocacy for RH supplies in country- and regional-level programmes, and to mobilize additional resources by developing a comprehensive, multi-annual programme.
- Total Market Initiative (now known as Market Development Approaches): This group aims to reduce reliance on public expenditures, increase supply, promote sustainability, and expand access to supplies through the development of a second tier in the market to serve lower-income individuals who have the ability to pay for RH supplies at a more reasonable cost, yet are currently relying on the public sector to meet their needs.
Presentations on current research concerning RH supply security at the global and country levels included an overview of findings of the Mercer Management Consulting Group study supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The research addressed RH supplies procurement, financing, and data management, as well as opportunities to move forward with sustainable longer-term strategies to support commodities. The European Commission and the United Kingdom Department for International Development discussed their plans for country-level research on RH supply security and pledged to align their work to strengthen comparability of the findings. The future structure and funding of the Coalition were discussed at the meeting.