Wilson Center Session Highlights Role of PHE in International Family Planning

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On March 16, 2010, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted an event called, “Maintaining Momentum: Highlights from the Uganda International Family Planning Conference.” The purpose of the session was to reflect on the accomplishments of the milestone family planning conference, in which 50 organizations convened in Kampala, Uganda in November 2009. The panel participants also reflected on future initiatives to strengthen family planning in the broader global health context.

Sahlu Haile, with the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, called attention to one of the conference’s impacts – increased attention to family planning in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Ethiopia. Haile specifically mentioned the conference had spurred a national effort in Ethiopia in December 2009, bringing together diverse NGOs to develop research capacities, generate evidence and strengthen monitoring and evaluation practices, especially for Population, Health and Environment (PHE) approaches.

At the November 2009 Conference, PHE Champions from four countries, including Ethiopia, presented their success stories with integrating family planning information and service delivery into conservation projects, reaching difficult-to-reach audiences with much needed health services: Champions from the Philippines, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia participated in a panel, organized by the USAID-funded BALANCED and BRIDGE Projects (www.prb.org),showcasing PHE approaches.

Joan Castro, Path Foundation Philippines, Inc (PFPI) Executive Vice President and BALANCED Project’s PHE Technical Assistance Lead