GBCHealth, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), hosted a webinar on March 1 to discuss how private sector expertise, networks and resources can support family planning and improve access to reproductive health services with UNFPA Supplies. The speakers discussed the importance of partnership to the success of family planning initiatives and the considerable return on investment from their work with UNFPA.
Dr. Ayman Abdelmohsen, Global Operations Lead, Commodity Security Branch, Technical Division
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Dr. Meena Ghandi, Health Adviser, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Team, Policy Division
Department for International Development, UK (DFID)
Matthew Rehrig, Manager, Adolescent Sexual Health
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
Overview of UNFPA Supplies
UNFPA Supplies is UNFPA’s flagship programme on family planning and access to reproductive health products and services. The Programme aims at ensuring that 42 million women and girls in the least developed countries can have access to family planning products and services by 2020.
Established in 2007, UNFPA focuses on 46 low-income countries with high maternal mortality and low contraceptive usage – half of which are also facing severe humanitarian situations.
UNFPA Supplies provides a unique set of combined interventions:
- Supporting enabling environments – UNFPA supports policies and strategies that promote coordination and partnerships, and build political commitment.
- Improving procurement and supply of reproductive health products – UNFPA Supplies supports efforts for pre-qualification of key reproductive health medicines; fosters innovation; improves procurement processes and delivers the right method mix of commodities to countries, based on their needs.
- Enhancing access to quality reproductive health and family planning services – UNFPA removes barriers to accessing quality reproductive health services for poor and marginalized women and girls.
- Strengthening national capacity and systems – UNFPA distributes reproductive health commodities through the “last mile” to reach individual and families most in need. This requires policies and functional logistics management systems.
Since its inception, the Programme has mobilized over $1 billion, has averted 56 million unintended pregnancies and 17 million unsafe abortions and now accounts for 42% of all procured contraceptives for developing countries.
In 2015, UNFPA Supplies helped 18 million women in more than 46 countries –including countries undergoing severe humanitarian crises– get access to modern contraceptives.
The Programme has been successful thanks to its broad network of partners, which include programme countries, donor countries, NGOs and the private sector.
Opportunities for the private sector
In the context of a changing Global Health architecture, and in line with Sustainable Development Goal 17, even more emphasis now needs to be placed in ensuring that UNFPA Supplies can count on a solid and diversified partners base and in strengthening and broadening relationships with the private sector (corporate sector, foundations and individuals).
Strategic partnerships with the private sector can support UNFPA Supplies work as follows:
a) By helping to build visibility and awareness (“Reach” partnerships);
b) By securing additional financial resources (“Resource mobilization” partnerships); and
c) By providing competencies and skills (“Brainpower” partnerships).
In this context, UNFPA is conducting a more systematic effort in reaching out to more private sector entities and engage in meaningful partnerships with them.
Value Proposition for working with UNFPA
- Significant challenges remain, despite progress: 300 million women in the world’s poorest countries using voluntary modern contraception, still 120 million short of goal by 2020
- Family Planning central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals:
- Accelerate economic growth
- Empower women
- Reduce maternal and child mortality
- Combat HIV/AIDS
- Positively impact the environment
- High ROI: $120 in health savings and socioeconomic benefits for every $1 invested
- Leverage: Every dollar invested in service delivery is matched >2.5x in procurement funding through pooled mechanism
- Price of commodities: dramatic price reductions of in-demand contraceptives made possible by UNFPA Supplies-managed purchases
- Technical assistance: Well-respected country-level operators with links to government and technical expertise on commodity supply chains and service delivery
- Scale: UNFPA Supplies works across 46 countries in different regions offering opportunities to introduce and scale high-quality, vetted innovations
Additional resources on Family Planning: