This week, more than 3,700 participants will gather in Kigali, Rwanda, for the fifth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). What is at stake? The lives and well-being of an estimated 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid or delay pregnancy but are not using an effective form of modern contraception.
FHI 360 researchers and practitioners will share updates about our cutting-edge work to transform family planning and increase the availability of high-quality contraceptive methods, counseling and services around the world. With our partners, we will also explore a vision for #NextGenFP – the next generation of family planning programs, policies and contraceptive innovations for youth, women and men. We will focus on three key questions:
- How can we take bold steps to expand contraceptive method choice?
- How can we reach underserved populations with innovative, evidence-based solutions?
- What can we do to advance contraceptive technology innovation?
As we seek to answer these questions, we recognize that to continue to make real progress in family planning we cannot focus only on the what – the great new idea or the evidence-based approach. Nor can we focus only on the why – the rationale for making family planning a cornerstone of global health and human development. We must also focus on the who. Who will lead us to success in reaching #NextGenFP?To continue to make real progress in family planning we cannot focus only on the what – the great new idea or the evidence-based approach. We must also focus on the who. Who will lead us to success in reaching #NextGenFP? Click To Tweet
In part, the answer lies in leaders who have been in the field for many years, such as FHI 360’s Dr. Marsden Solomon, Deputy Chief of Party of the Afya Uzazi project in Kenya, who was recently awarded the Marjorie C. Horn Operations Research Award by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
As we consider the who of #NextGenFP, we must also look to the unprecedented number of youth who will attend this year’s conference. Unmet need for contraception is greater among adolescents and youth than among any other age group. FHI 360’s programs and research address the needs of today’s youth, with the understanding that they will be tomorrow’s leaders. This conference is a critical opportunity to both listen to youth and fully engage them in the conversation about their needs and vision for the future. Join us during ICFP to explore how social norms impact family planning use among adolescents and youth and how we can expand contraceptive choice for young people, including by increasing access to long-acting, reversible methods.
FHI 360’s presentations and events at ICFP will also include a number of other exciting updates. We will share new research and resources on how to increase community-based access to injectable contraceptives. Staff will launch a new interactive, online tool to help countries understand how changing the availability of contraceptive methods might impact HIV prevalence and maternal and child health indicators. We will share a new counseling job aid that can help health care providers reassure women about the menstrual bleeding changes that are likely to occur when they use contraception. We will discuss how we can “begin with the end in mind” as we develop the #NextGenFP of contraceptive technologies. Specific strategies include incorporating human-centered design and acceptability research into all stages of development and considering service delivery contexts when designing new products.
You can find a full list of our presentations and events online. In addition, FHI 360 will be hosting Facebook Live interviews throughout the week to discuss questions related to #NextGenFP. Follow us at FHI 360 on Facebook. If you are not able to attend the conference in person, check out the official virtual conference hub or visit the #ICFP2018 Virtual Conference on Facebook. We want to hear your ideas, and we look forward to charting a course for #NextGenFP together in Kigali and beyond.