Today, because of the work of FP2020’s partners around the world, more women and girls than ever before are using modern contraception. An unprecedented 290.6 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries are now able to decide for themselves whether and when to get pregnant, an increase of 24.4 million from the time of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.
Nevertheless, our results aren’t measuring up to our ambition. 24.4 million women and girls with lifesaving contraception is 10 million fewer than we had hoped to reach by this time. If we continue at this rate, we risk missing our goal—and leaving millions of women and girls without the care and services they need and deserve.
As we approach the mid-point of our time-bound partnership, with four years remaining until 2020, FP2020 has developed a new strategy to accelerate progress. We've made bold decisions about how we prioritize our areas of work to have the most impact.
Here we describe our progress to date, why we felt the need to readjust our efforts, how we'll be working from now on, and what this means for our partners.
The FP2020 partnership now includes more than 80 commitment makers—including nearly 40 countries—reflecting a marked increase in political will among governments as well as growing interest across diverse sectors.
During our initial phase, FP2020’s unique governance model enabled representatives from all sectors to coordinate activities, pool talents, align agendas, and collaborate to address the policy, financing, supply, delivery, and sociocultural barriers to women accessing contraceptives.
This tremendous commitment has underpinned FP2020's momentum.
However, with an estimated gap of 10 million users, FP2020 recognized that we needed to make changes now—both in our structure and in our prioritization—in order to deliver on the ambitious agenda that the global community has committed to achieve.
We had to learn from what has and hasn’t worked and, based on a combination of experience and data, make the necessary changes to accelerate progress. Read more.
As a time-bound initiative with an urgent goal, FP2020 has a mandate to adjust as needed to ensure we remain positioned for optimal success. In the latter half of 2015, the Secretariat, under the guidance of the Reference Group, conducted an intensive and highly consultative strategic review of the partnership’s progress to date in order to make bold decisions about FP2020’s focus for the remaining five years.
This exercise challenged us to rethink our structure and prioritize areas of work where we feel we can have the most impact. We determined that, while FP2020 is thriving and serves as a vital convening space to pool expertise, solve problems, and advance the movement, we have an opportunity to more effectively coordinate support for the country-level activities that will be instrumental in transforming the lives of women and girls. Read more.
Our response to this challenge and this moment is a new strategy for 2016-2020 that prioritizes our efforts on four crosscutting initiatives: country support; data and performance management; global advocacy, rights, and youth; and knowledge and evidence. These initiatives, and the activities that fall within each, are where we believe FP2020 can add the most value through collaboration and mutual accountability. Across this portfolio of initiatives, our main emphasis will be on supporting and reinforcing country-level activities—building on our existing focal point network and in-country partnerships—that can dramatically increase access to high-quality family planning information, services, and supplies.
As we reorient and focus our efforts, we’re also redefining how we will work with our partners. FP2020 can only succeed in delivering results by supporting and magnifying the efforts of global and country-level partners, playing the roles of convener and facilitator, and focusing on catalytic actions directly linked to FP2020 goals.
With tremendous input from the global community, the Secretariat has identified new approaches to more efficiently and effectively leverage technical partnerships and experts at the country and global levels. The Secretariat is moving forward to establish an Expert Advisory Community (EAC) that can mobilize international expertise and technical assistance across a range of issues, including supply, demand, and right-based programming, among others.
Given that measurement and data use are core to our work, the Performance Monitoring and Evidence Working Group will continue to play a key role, but the EAC will replace the other three Working Groups. The Reference Group will continue to provide leadership and oversight across our efforts, maintaining its system of rotating membership to ensure diverse representation and staggered terms for continuity.
FP2020 has thrived because of incredible stakeholder interest and participation—as we move forward we will continue to maintain open pathways for collaboration, discussion, and engagement. By working together to close the shortfall and reach 120 million more women and girls with voluntary, rights-based family planning by 2020, we can achieve a critical milestone on our path to fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and, ultimately, to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.