Last week we held the first of three virtual Focal Point Workshops with partners from across Africa and Asia in preparation for the new partnership ahead, and I was struck by how far we have come since FP2020 was launched in 2012. The strengthened ties between government and civil society, with international NGOs and donors, has helped to propel our progress toward increasing access to family planning for women and girls everywhere. Even as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic comes more into focus every day – reduced access to commodities and services, potential erosion of domestic and donor financing, constraints on the lives of women and girls – we’ve seen partners double-down on efforts to mitigate these negative impacts, learn from new ways of working, and push us all to do more.
I have been privileged to be a part of the evolution of our partnership as we ensured rights are at the heart of all we do, as more countries made their own family planning commitments, as FP2020 country focal points expanded to include civil society, as we created space for meaningful youth participation, and made emergency preparedness and response a key priority.
This year we have been preparing for a transition to a renewed partnership, one that you have helped shape. Stakeholders from across the globe provided their input on the future of family planning through our global consultation. The collective feedback formed the basis of a vision for the next decade of partnership: a partnership that is led by countries themselves, with shared learning and accountability, that will increase access to family planning for women and girls everywhere.
While we have made great strides in increasing access to family planning in the past eight years, we recognize that women and girls live in complex realities. To ensure the greatest success, our family planning commitments must be person-centered and rights-based, with equity and justice at their core. Dilly Severin, senior director for global initiatives at FP2020, explains in a piece below how we are re-thinking partnership to shift the balance of power in family planning so that commitments are developed with women and girls and their lived experiences at the center.
As I write to you, I recognize that we are in an incredible moment of history, both the global community and within the family planning movement. The U.S. election will lead to great changes in our working environment, regardless the outcome. And with our partnership’s transition over the next year, I see incredible opportunity for stronger partnerships with greater reach. We have begun our transition process that will facilitate these renewed partnerships the decade ahead. A Transition Management Team, led by Sono Aibe, a veteran strategist in reproductive health, will help us manage those changes as we continue to work with partners to create new commitments. You can learn more about the transition process here.
I am looking forward to continuing down this new path with you in the next coming months, as we continue to share the lessons we have learned from the FP2020 partnership, and how we will inhabit those lessons in the next iteration of the partnership. At a virtual celebration in late January, we will officially launch the final FP2020 Annual Report, we’ll celebrate FP2020 together, and we’ll kickoff our drive for new commitments for the 2030 partnership that we will build together. We know that the health and wellbeing of women and girls everywhere will be stronger for it.