We are a week after Women Deliver, and still recovering. It was an intense several days in Copenhagen, and I was lucky to meet and talk with some fascinating young leaders and advocates pushing forward gender equality and sexual and reproductive health in sometimes difficult situations. In case you have not already, you can read my thoughts on the conference in these dispatches from Denmark. I would also recommend that you listen to some of the chats I had with Women Deliver Young Leaders and colleagues from partner organisations, which you can find over on soundcloud.
FP2020 and K4Health at Women Deliver
The week being as hectic as it was, and given the time needed to fully recover, there was some content that we recorded that we just could not get to you before the end of Women Deliver. Towards the end of the conference, I managed to sit down for 15 minutes to talk with two people who are closely involved with a ground-breaking communications campaign, Family Planning Voices. Lauren Wolkoff is the Communications Director of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), and Sarah Harlan is the Learning Director at Knowledge for Health (K4Health) (more information on their respective organisations below).[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/266022648″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Together, they are working on Family Planning Voices (FP Voices), and were in Copenhagen to coordinate an interactive installation at Women Deliver set up to enable participants to share their opinions and attitudes to family planning and share them as part of the FP Voices initiative. The installation – and you can see my gormless photo here – was set up at Women Deliver in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (phew!).
Sarah: “It really take a wide variety of background to make this [FP2020] vision happen. It is a movement that needs politicians, people who know law; providers, young people”
FP Voices is a digital initiative to document and share stories from individuals around the world who are passionate about family planning. FP Voices shares photos and conversational interviews to document personal experiences from around the world to improve family planning. As Lauren describes it in our conversation, FP Voices is illustrating through real stories the progress made towards the FP2020 goals, seeking to emulate the successes of projects like Humans of New York.
"I work in humanitarian settings because, in the past, people didn’t think that #familyplanning was really a need for…
The project was launched in 2015, and has so far gathered more than 110 stories from 20 countries. You can find all of the stories – including some collected at Women Deliver – on the FP Voices website here, and on social media via #FPVoices.
Lauren: “It’s essential that we understand it [family planning] is as critical as hunger…if we get people to understand that FP is a best buy and something that we need to be investing in if we want to realize the SDGs by 2030, we can’t ignore it. We ignore it at our own peril.”
Hitting the FP2020 goals
In our conversation, Sarah and Lauren explained why FP Voices was set up, and we talked about the prospects of hitting the FP2020 goals in time given that we are now half way through the process. They gave me their impressions of Women Deliver and the big themes that emerged during the week. In particular, we talked about the role of data in supporting FP, the involvement of young people and educators, and the importance of fostering a powerful and connected community around the issue of family planning in order to secure the progress we need in order to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030.
— Eoghan Walsh (@eoghanwalsh) May 17, 2016
The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project helps strengthen the capacity of family planning program managers and service providers in low- and middle-income countries around the world by connecting them with the health knowledge the need to act effectively. K4Health is supported by USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Bureau for Global Health, under Cooperative agreement #AID-OAA-A-13-00068 with the Johns Hopkins University. K4Health is implemented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), in partnership with FHI 360, IntraHealth International, and Management Sciences for Health.
FP2020 is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide – freely and for themselves – whether, when and how many children they want to have. FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, donors, the private sector and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. FP2020 is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.