I’m Isha Datta, an associate on the Family Planning 2020 team, and for the past three years I’ve had the pleasure of helping my colleagues manage FP2020’s small grants program, the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). As we continue to build the next phase of the FP2020 partnership, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the success of the program.
Since 2014, the RRM has been a critical part of FP2020’s work, providing small grants to a range of partners in commitment-making countries to improve national policy environments for family planning, strengthen health systems, train providers in rights-based family planning service provision — and ultimately, to help countries achieve their FP2020 commitments.
Over the years, our team has had a front-row seat to the catalytic “wins” secured through our investments. Our grants were small and timely — but they often built on years-long advocacy and sustained, dedicated work by our grantees. They led projects on a wide range of issues critical to ensuring access to high-quality family planning services — often operating under the most challenging of circumstances.
It would be impossible to list every grantee here, but a few come to mind: the Bureau Diocésain des Oeuvres Médicales (BDOM), a project of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo that advocated for a family planning budget line in South Kivu province; UNFPA Bangladesh, the UN agency that led the charge to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in Cox’s Bazaar; the National Committee for Maternal and Neonatal Health (NCMNH) in Pakistan, that advocated for the inclusion of family planning in the curriculum for midwifery schools in Sindh province. Our grantees worked to provide critical family planning services following the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014 and to meet the needs of women and girls fleeing Boko Haram in the Diffa region of Niger.
This year, we’ve worked closely with many of our grantees to ensure access to care continues in the unprecedented context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with our colleagues around the world, we’ve been struck by their passion, their creativity, and their unrelenting drive. While disparate in scope and geography, our grantees have always shared a common purpose: to ensure their communities have access to the sexual and reproductive health services they need to reach their full potential. In this newsletter, we hope you enjoy reading stories and guidance from our colleagues around the field, including from Reach A Hand Uganda, a youth-led organization, as well as new technical guidance about family planning services during the pandemic from our colleagues at the WHO.
The future of the RRM, as with the rest of the FP2020 partnership, is being formed now. The latest details on the FP2020 transition can always be found on our website.
Thanks for being part of this community.
Isha Datta, FP2020 Associate, Postpartum Family Planning and Rapid Response Mechanism