FP2020 Executive Director Beth Schlachter: A Community United in the Face of Uncertainty

Less than three months into 2017, political transitions at the global and country levels signal changes to the international development framework that will, at best, prove challenging to the global health community, including family planning, and sexual and reproductive health and rights writ large.  The U.S. government’s recent reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy (also known as the Global Gag Rule), which looks to be significantly broader than anything we have seen before, is the latest of such changes, but we can anticipate it won’t be the last.

We’re honored that the FP2020 partnership has become a convening point for the movement as implementing partners, civil society actors, international organizations, governments, and donors have turned to this platform to share ideas, concerns, and strategies for moving forward in the new landscape.

Many partners are collectively taking positive steps to protect gains in family planning, including bringing the global community together to share information and strengthen global ties so that people – be they in Nairobi, Brussels, Abidjan, London, or Manila – understand the changes and are equipped to manage them. 

So, while 2017 is proving to be a year of change and some uncertainty, it also sees the community better coordinated, using improved data and evidence for decision-making, and more knowledgeable than ever before about country-specific goals, operating and financial environments, political will, and persistent challenges. 

Over the years, the family planning community has confronted many challenges and has not only prevailed, but grown stronger. We at FP2020 are committed to supporting this community to remain inspired, coordinated, aligned, and focused as we adapt to this shifting landscape to realize our 2020 goals and help set the world on course to achieve the SDGs.