A two-day long bi-annual Packard’s Grantees meeting was hosted by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation in Addis Ababa on 23 and 24 February 2015 at Hilton Hotel. Being one of the invited panelists, DSW was represented by Feyera Assefa, interim country director of DSW Ethiopia who presented a power-point comprehensive report on the wisdom of DSW’s intervention to help married adolescent girls delay their first pregnancy. The-two day workshop essentially drew the attention of more than 130 organizations from various countries to share their experiences.
Youth SRHR/Family Planning
“Efforts to strengthen partnerships among Packard Grantees in the past have already proved their worthwhile and we will have to maintain them in the future such that we can be able to diversify our focuses on multi-sectorial responses”, enthuses DSW’s Executive Director, Renate Baehr who had to travel from Hannover, Germany to attend the workshop. Renate further emphasized that “as it has already started to integrate multi-sectorial issues, DSW fairly transcends the traditional confine of sexual and reproductive health and population programs”.
The good parts of the workshop in two days have dealt, among others, with issues such as youth sexual and reproductive health (SRH)/family planning in the context of sustainable development programs, multi-sectorial responses, as well as demographic dividend and window of opportunity for economic development.
In a nutshell, Mr. John May, visiting scholar at Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and Terefe Degefe (Ph.D) at Addis Ababa University who were both the key-note speakers in their presentations about the Demographic Dividend and Youth Development have generally underscored the following points: “With all their broad components intact, health and education sectors are the two most vital prerequisites to attain the demographic dividend. Demographic dividend doesn’t come by in a short-term wish list. It is a process by which it helps open the window of opportunity for sustainable economic growth on a long-term basis where the right development policies and programs capture and spur the momentum. Demographic dividend is achievable where the growth of momentum stemmed from efficient policies and programs is intent on involving and benefiting key demographic groups particularly of youth and women”.
This workshop has enjoyed hosting key-note speakers, including representatives from Population Reference Bureau, Brown University and Addis Ababa University. The David & Lucile Packard Foundation is a US-based grant-making organization. The Foundation was established in 1964 and supports youth sexual and reproductive health and population programs across Africa. Annually budgeting multi-million dollars, the Packard Foundation financially and technically supports various projects and programs in Africa. For more than ten years, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation consistently supported DSW’s Youth SRH, Population and Conservation Programs in Ethiopia.