FCI staff from Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Kenya, and the U.S. were at Women Deliver 2013, together with thousands of our colleagues and partners from around the world.
Women Deliver, which has grown from a historic, successful 2007 London conference organized by FCI into a multifaceted and powerful global advocacy initiative, evolved into an independent organization in 2010. We are proud of FCI’s role in launching Women Deliver, and are excited that our two organizations continue to work together, along with many partners around the world, to empower women and improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn health.
FCI participated in the following conference sessions and side events that were open to conference attendees:
In Our Hands: Successful Strategies to Prioritize Essential Maternal Health Supplies
(Organizers included FCI, PATH, Population Action International, and Venture Strategies Innovations)
The Maternal Health Supplies Working Group and Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition-Maternal Health Supplies Caucus brought together global and national advocates and program implementers in an interactive forum to network, strategize, and exchange ideas for elevating maternal health supplies onto leading health agendas. Successful advocacy case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America were highlighted.
Emergency Contraception: New Research Findings, Programmatic Updates, and Advocacy Strategies
(Organized by the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) and the HRA Pharma Foundation)
Access to emergency contraception (EC) globally is extremely uneven. This session brought together advocates, researchers, pharmaceutical representatives, and other leaders in the field to discuss expanding efforts to ensure access to EC globally, with a focus on developing countries. It included panel presentations with plenty of time for questions and discussion.
Misoprostol for the Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage: New Evidence and the Way Forward
(Organized by FIGO and Gynuity Health Projects)
Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) remains the most significant contributor to maternal mortality, accounting for approximately 30 percent of maternal deaths worldwide. There is a strong body of evidence that demonstrates misoprostol is a safe and effective technology to manage PPH in many settings. This has prompted the addition of misoprostol to international and national guidelines, including WHO and FIGO. This session discussed how the current evidence can help inform and develop effective policies and service delivery programs across varying levels of the health system. Individual presentations highlighted new international guidelines and discussed innovative strategies for PPH management; how to scale up and advocate for programs that use misoprostol to manage PPH. FCI president Ann Starrs presented on “Making Misoprostol an Operational Reality: Advocacy Opportunities, Challenges, and Barriers.”
WHO, UNFPA and FCI Launched Preventing Early Pregnancy and Poor Reproductive Outcomes Among Adolescents: A Toolkit
Pregnancy and childbirth-related complications are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls worldwide, contributing to maternal and child mortality and to the vicious cycle of poverty and poor health. After a systematic review of the evidence, WHO developed guidelines on Preventing early pregnancy and poor reproductive outcomes among adolescents in developing countries. In collaboration with WHO and UNFPA, Family Care International has developed an advocacy toolkit (available in English, Spanish and French) to encourage and enable evidence-based action among decision-makers, opinion leaders, medical personnel, researchers, and affected communities. This Speaker’s Corner presentation featured information about using the toolkit and guidelines from speakers including FCI’s global advocacy director, Amy Boldosser-Boesch.
Regional Caucus — Latin America and Caribbean
(Organized by the Regional Task Force on Maternal Mortality Reduction/ Grupo de Trabajo Regional para la Reducción de la Mortalidad Materna, for which FCI serves as host organization)
This 2-day caucus was one of the few opportunities at Women Deliver for colleagues from the Latin America/Caribbean (LAC) region to meet and discuss regional initiatives and priorities for improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH). The meeting on day 1 focused on quality of care, featuring presentations by the International Confederation of Midwives, MCHIP, and others on strategic priorities, the Respectful Maternity Care initiative, and youth perspectives on quality of care issues. Day 2 focused on tracking commitments and promoting accountability in RMNCH, featuring presentations by PAHO, CARE-Peru, and the Centers for Disease Control on the RMNCH accountability framework and country roadmaps, national linkages to global and regional accountability processes, and the rollout of regional maternal mortality surveillance guidelines.English/Spanish translation was available.
Regional Caucus — Francophone Africa
(Organized by Family Care International)
This 2-day caucus was one of the few opportunities at Women Deliver for colleagues from French-speaking Africa to come together to discuss regional initiatives and priorities for improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH). The caucus focused on tracking commitments and promoting accountability in two key strategic areas, and included brief presentations by regional experts followed by open discussion. The meeting on day 1 focused on tracking commitments to family planning, featuring discussion of the Family Planning 2020 initiative, opportunities to engage with the United Nations Commission on Lifesaving Commodities, and the experiences of Benin, Mali, and Senegal in engaging civil society in the repositioning of family planning. Day 2 focused on tracking commitments to reproductive and maternal health, featuring discussion of Countdown to 2015; the role of midwives in achieving MDG 5; and ensuring youth involvement in tracking RMNCH commitments.All discussions were conducted in French.
Country Countdown: Accelerating National RMNCH Progress to 2015 and Beyond
(Session organized by Countdown to 2015, for which FCI is co-lead partner for communications.)
Country Countdown processes, in-depth examinations of subnational health data enabling countries to assess progress and ensure accountability, are catalyzing action in multiple countries. Countdown to 2015 presenters shared lessons learned and showcased ongoing country initiatives to improve the use of evidence for decision making. This session was co-moderated by FCI president Ann Starrs; Angela Mutunga, FCI’s country director in Kenya, presented a progress report on the planning of a Country Countdown process in Kenya, for which FCI-Kenya is acting as secretariat.
Emergency Contraception: Progress and Remaining Challenges
Increasing access to and use of emergency contraception is critical to decreasing unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortions and maternal mortality. This session featured discussions of recent research about the perceptions and use of emergency contraception. Elizabeth Westley, FCI’s coordinator of the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, was a panelist.
Workforce — Midwives
This panel presented developments in strengthening midwifery and midwifery services in line with the policy and implementation guidance that has been developed in follow-up to the State of the World’s Midwifery 2012 Report, the UNFPA-ICM Midwifery Program, and specific regional and local initiatives. Martha Murdock, FCI’s Vice President for Regional Programs, was a panelist.
Data as a Tool for Change: Promoting Country-Level Action with a Country Countdown
Countdown to 2015 offers a range of tools to assess and catalyze country progress on RMNCH and to use data as a powerful instrument of change. At this interactive full-day workshop just after the conclusion of the Women Deliver conference, attendees:
► Saw how data can promote action, accelerate progress, and foster accountability
► Reviewed their countries’ Countdown profiles, learning how to use it for education and advocacy
► Learned about Country Countdown, a country-led, multi-stakeholder process to use RMNCH data to improve decision-making and accountability
► Received tools and guidance for developing profiles and scorecards, organizing a Countdown event, and mobilizing media, policy, and political attention
► Exchanged ideas, benefit from other countries’ experience, and learn how the global Countdown team can support the Country Countdown process
► Worked with national colleagues to begin planning a Country Countdown
FCI plays a leading advocacy role in the Countdown to 2015 partnership; at this workshop, FCI president Ann Starrs presented on the critical role of advocacy and communications in disseminating Country Countdown findings, mobilizing commitment and resources, and catalyzing country progress. For more information, please visit www.countdown2015mnch.org.