With tremendous input from the global community, the FP2020 Secretariat has identified new approaches to more efficiently and effectively leverage technical partnerships and experts at the country and global levels in support of our new strategy.
With this in mind, FP2020 has established a new body called the Expert Advisory Community (EAC). We have determined this new structure can best mobilize international expertise and technical assistance across a range of issues, including supply, demand, and right-based programming, among others.
The EAC comprises a volunteer network of more than 135 technical experts on a range of functional, regional, and country-specific family planning topics that can be mobilized to address specific challenges at the country and global level and will serve as essential thought partners to the FP2020 Secretariat. In the future, the EAC will also be a channel of two-way communication between the Secretariat and the family planning community of experts, so that we’re able to share information about the FP2020 movement and progress and maintain an open and predictable means of hearing from the community.
Read a statement on the launch of the EAC here.
The EAC includes members from more than 70 organizations with family planning expertise in more than 50 of FP2020’s 69 focus countries. The group’s membership has the potential to grow as new opportunities for collaboration are identified.
As of May 12, 2016
In the EAC, do you see a role for multisectoral approaches and expertise for expanding access to family planning and reproductive health through partnerships outside the health sector?
We hope EAC members can provide input in this area and guide us on the opportunities or relationships we should be exploring and developing.
Will participants be divided into groups in the EAC?
The FP2020 Secretariat will be communicating with everyone as a whole as well as inviting members to join workstreams to partner around specific issues on an as-needed basis. You’re welcome to opt-in to any area or conversation.
Will the membership be balanced across issue areas?
At present, the EAC membership is broad because we’re hoping for a balance of geographic and technical expertise. We’re not looking for absolute numbers but are looking to fill any gaps that exist and where experts are available to partner with us.
Will the EAC tackle family planning scale-up in emergency states?
At this point, we are not anticipating that working in emergency/crisis situations will be a primary effort of the EAC. There may be opportunities in certain situations to work on these issues, particularly in commitment-making countries. Nepal is a good example of a country that experienced a humanitarian crisis that was unanticipated. In that case, we did partner with our focal points to help support that work. In a comparable situation, we may convene the EAC to support that work, but in terms of longer-term displacement or refugee situations, we are not currently working with those colleagues on a country-specific basis.
We are part of an Every Woman, Every Child workstream on the issue and are contributing at the global level to those conversations to ensure that we are reaching women that are in situations of displacement or crisis. However, we don't have the relationships with the countries who are in those situations currently [needed] in order to partner in that way. I recognize that that is a difficult thing for all of us and we wish it were otherwise
How will the Secretariat decide what issues merit convening a focus group discussion versus reaching out with a targeted request for input?
We are really relying on the focal points to flag issue areas and challenges that the EAC can address. It is important for this group to understand who the focal points are and how we work with them. Once a country makes a FP2020 commitment, the government designates one focal point. Similarly, two of the core convening organizations also appoint focal points. In most cases, donor focal points come from USAID and UNFPA, but in some countries, the Gates Foundation and DFID appoint focal points. The Secretariat’s regional managers will coordinate closely with the focal points in each of their portfolios to develop and execute upon country action plans.
This year, we have begun holding regional focal point meetings (the Asia regional meeting was held in Bali after the International Conference on Family Planning, the Anglophone Africa meeting will be held in Kampala in April, and the Francophone Africa meeting will be held in Abidjan in May). During these meetings, focal points develop “action plans,” which are agreements on how the focal points and Secretariat can work together to support the government’s priorities for implementing their plan. We will bring to the EAC some of the country priorities and challenges identified and will bring some of the issues you raise to the focal points to see if those align with their objectives and open discussions when both parties agree that the area of work is important to achieving the outlined goals.
What is the operational time-frame of this group?
The Secretariat hopes that this group continues to work together through the coming years toward 2020 and becomes a vital part of the FP2020 partnership. We hope that members will remain invested in the group over the long-term.
Can I transfer my invitation to the EAC to someone else from my organization?
At this point, membership to the Expert Advisory Community is non-transferable. This applies to phone calls, webinars, and membership in general. For example, if you are an Expert Advisory Community member and decide to leave your organization, your membership will follow you until you ask to opt-out. Your membership cannot be handed off to someone else in your organization. However, if someone else in your organization is interested in becoming a member of the Expert Advisory Community and you believe would bring an important perspective to the group, please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding the EAC, please email Rati Bishnoi at email@example.com.