179932 Making the Case for International Family Planning

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:00 AM

Duff Gillespie, PhD , Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Making the Case for International Family Planning

Support for international family planning has plummeted among donors, including the traditionally largest donor, the United States. USAID's family planning budget in constant, 1984 dollars is just about the same today as it was in 1984, $250 million. This decline has been attributed to such things as paradigm shifts, competition from HIV/AIDS, and the family planning's success in slowing the global rate of population growth. Undoubtedly, these, and other factors, have contributed to family planning's diminishment, but their importance pales when one considers the simple fact that since 1984 there has only been two years, 1993 and 1994, when Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and the House. Two weeks after this conference, the Democrats' remarkably long exile from power may very well end.

This presentation describes a project which developed a strategy for what family planning champions must due to switch from a two-decade long defensive role, necessitated by the hostile power structure in Washington, to a forward looking advocacy campaign designed to take advantage of the anticipated political realignment in Washington. Four components of this strategy are described. First, an analysis of voting trends identified promising advocacy opportunities, e.g., supporters of biodiversity programs. Second, advocacy briefs were analyzed in terms of their currency, strength of evidence, topical importance, and communications potential. Third, advocacy opportunities lacking briefs and suboptimal briefs were identified. Fourth, new and modified briefs were developed by a consortium of experts.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss a strategy for putting family planning back on the international political agenda.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
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.