256399 Budgetary advocacy to improve women's reproductive health

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Emily Teitsworth, MA , AGALI Program, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Objectives: The Reproductive Health Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (REHALI) advances women's reproductive health (RH) in Malawi by strengthening the capacity of civil society leaders to advocate for improved government transparency and budgets for RH.

Background: Malawi's total fertility rate is 5.6 and 11% of adults have HIV. There is a critical need for increased investment in RH in Malawi, and a lack of government accountability around health budgeting.

Methods: Implemented by the Public Health Institute, REHALI's primary strategies include: 1. Capacity Building Through intensive training, Fellows strengthen their knowledge about RH and budgetary advocacy and develop advocacy to improve government budgets for women's RH. 2. Seed Grants PHI awards seed funds to the REHALI Fellows' organizations that demonstrate the greatest potential to advocate for improved budgets for women's RH.

Results: REHALI has strengthened the capacity of leaders in Malawi to advocate for improved government transparency and expanded budgets for women's RH. Current grantees are advocating for improved budgets for family planning services in high need districts in Malawi.

Conclusions: REHALI demonstrates that civil society leaders can successfully advocate with the government for improved budgets for women's RH and presents a replicable model for improving government investment in RH outcomes. REHALI strengthens institutional capacity, while building legal and policy support for RH by funding innovative advocacy strategies.

Implications: Program results will be used to expand the REHALI model to additional focus countries and build the evidence base for a replicable model that improves government investment in women's RH outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to: 1) List the major reproductive health needs and policy limitations in Malawi 2) Explain the role that budgetary advocacy can play in improving reproductive health outcomes

Keywords: Advocacy, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the manager of the project described in the abstract and have worked in the fields of advocacy, reproductive health, and international public health for the past 7 years.
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.