207430 Building blocks of effective RH/FP policies: High-level commitment, evidence-based planning, and multisectoral engagement - The experience in Jordan

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:00 PM

Farley Cleghorn, MD, MPH , Chief Technical Officer, Futures Group International, Washington, DC
Ed Abel , Vice President of Business Development, Futures Group International, Washington, DC
Basma Ishaqat , Futures Group International, Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Amman, Jordan
Tina Shabsough , Futures Group International, Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Amman, Jordan
As a response to King Abdullah II's call to Jordan's government and citizens to work together to meet the challenges of reducing the total fertility rate, Phase II (2008-2012) of Jordan's Reproductive Health Action Plan (RHAP II) was initiated. RHAP II presents the national policy framework to address reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) in the country. The USAID | Health Policy Initiative (HPI), in collaboration with the Higher Population Council (HPC), led a multisectoral, consensus-building process to devise the overall framework and outline key activities, timeframe, and responsibilities. The government launched RHAP II during a high-level conference attended by all stakeholders at the national level. The extensive, participatory process engaged public, private, and voluntary sectors, including the ministries of Health, Finance, Planning, and Education, and private sector and civil society partners (e.g., youth, religious leaders). The design of RHAP II followed an evidenced-based process that considered the assessment of activities, barriers, and lessons learned through RHAP I implementation as well as Jordan's 2007 Population and Family Health Survey results. Importantly, HPI helped prepare the costing system for the first 18-months of RHAP II program implementation. This system enabled stakeholders to estimate and advocate for needed resources, with the funding being approved in July 2008. Required funds were allocated and implementation has started. For the first time ever, RHAP will also have a monitoring and evaluation plan to help track progress in enhancing quality, access, and reach of RH/FP services. Key elements of the strong RH/FP policy response in Jordan include high-level political commitment; institutional capacity building (e.g., HPC and other partners); evidence-based planning; linking planning, advocacy, and resource allocation; enhanced monitoring and evaluation; and early engagement of all concerned organizations throughout the entire process.

Learning Objectives:
The presentation will: (1) Describe components of strong RH/FP policy environments; (2) Present lessons learned from Jordanís experience in RH/FP policy formulation; and (3) Explore the importance of evidence-based activities (e.g., costing, M&E) as facilitators of policy implementation.

Keywords: Planning, International Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Farley R. Cleghorn is senior vice president and chief technical officer of Futures Group. Dr. Cleghorn has more than 20 years of experience in international development, research, and program implementation. His research has focused on the epidemiology, natural history, prevention, and pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS and related infections in the United States and the developing world. Dr. Cleghorn earned an MD (with honors) at the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences in 1982 and received an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics of infectious diseases from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1992. He is trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases and completed a fellowship in HIV/AIDS at the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health in 1992.
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.