178146 Perspectives on funding for family planning in the early 21st century

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:30 AM

Suzanna Dennis , Population Action International, Washington, DC
The funding environment for family planning has grown more complex since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). New foreign aid strategies that emphasize country ownership offer hope for increased financial support to overall global development. However, they also pose significant challenges to the family planning field, which is struggling to keep pace with growing unmet need. The emergence of vertical, disease-specific global funding streams has diminished the focus on reproductive health. So have country-based initiatives on maternal mortality which, though important, neglect linkages with family planning.

Not only has the aid architecture become more challenging to navigate, but funding for family planning programs is on shaky ground. Although recent years have shown a strong upward trend in total international population assistance, the share accorded to HIV/AIDS activities has increased markedly in recent years while the proportion of population assistance directed toward the fundamental efforts of family planning programs and basic reproductive health services has decreased. Much technical expertise has also shifted to the HIV/AIDS arena. These developments, reflecting a change in how donors view investments in family planning, present a barrier to providing family planning programs with the resources sufficient to meet needs on the ground. Among the approaches recommended to family planning champions are integration with funding and strategies for HIV/AIDS and other health issues; stronger advocacy at country level; research on the cost-effectiveness of family planning; and demonstrated linkages with emerging global issues such as security and climate change.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe changing financing modalities for family planning and reproductive health and how they have impacted funding levels. 2. Discuss the decline in funding for family planning as a share of total population assistance. 3. Assess ways in which family planning advocates and program managers can positively influence funding trends at the country, regional or global level.

Keywords: International Family Planning, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Masters in International Affairs and five years experience tracking donor aid, with a focus on the World Bank and regional development Banks. In 2007 I co-authored a report mapping multilateral development bank spending on reproductive health and HIV?AIDS. Since joining PAI in May of 2008, I have taken the lead on their work tracking funding for reproductive health and family planning, including research and advocacy on donor funding trends and emerging issues such as budget support and country ownership.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.