The fifth annual progress report of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) was launched on 5 December, 2017. Population Foundation of India was involved in this process as a member of the FP2020 Performance Monitoring and Evidence (PME) Working Group, which took the lead in shaping and finalising the report.
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership comprising governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. It is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, which launched a global movement to give an additional 120 million women in the 69 lowest income countries access to lifesaving family planning information, services and supplies by 2020. India is a signatory to FP2020.
The latest report tracks progress made through 2016-2017 towards enabling 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use modern contraceptives by the year 2020. It shows that efforts made by the FP2020 focus countries have borne results and that there has been an overall increase in the use of voluntary contraceptives by women and girls over this period. According to the report, this prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies, 26 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths. It records that as of July 2017, more than 309 million women and girls in the 69 FP2020 focus countries are using a modern method of contraception. This means that 38.8 million more are using contraception than when the FP2020 was launched in 2012.
The report also captures the advances garnered at the July 2017 Family Planning Summit, which indicated an increased recognition of family planning as a development imperative and the emergence of new global initiatives with increased investment from some donors. It was here that 25 new partners joined the FP2020; 74 new and revitalised FP2020 commitments were generated; and 11 Global Goods announced, three of which focus on strengthening the family planning sector’s ability to meet the needs of young people.
Data for India shows a mixed picture. While improvements are noted in several indicators, further acceleration of efforts and investments are needed. India has reached an additional 7.65 million users of modern contraceptive methods between 2013 and 2017. The percentage of women who are using a modern contraceptive method is pegged at 39.6 and the percentage of women with an unmet need for modern contraception stands at 19.2 per cent. The findings show that though the number of unsafe abortions averted due to modern contraceptive use has bettered, there is a need to intensify efforts to reduce the number of maternal deaths.
At the July 2017 FP Summit, India had reiterated its pledge to meeting its FP2020 commitments, which include: increasing the modern contraceptive usage from 53.1 per cent to 54.3 per cent; ensuring that 74 per cent of the demand for modern contraceptives is satisfied by 2020; expanding the range and reach of contraceptive options by 2020 through the roll out of new contraceptives; and exploring the introduction of new long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) along with delivering quality assured and full range of FP services at all levels. In addition to strengthening the supply chain through the roll out of Family Planning Logistic Management Information System (FP-LMIS), the country reaffirmed its dedication to increasing FP awareness, generating demand and continuing the provision of free of cost FP services and supplies to all eligible couples and adolescents through the public health system, NGOs and the accredited private sector. Besides, revitalising the social marketing scheme, the country reiterated its obligation to initiating the social franchising schemes to rope in the private sector and raised its initial assurance of an investment of $2 billion (at the 2012 Summit) in its family planning programme to $3 billion by 2020.
The report also includes the much-awaited section on measuring progress. This provides governments, donors and civil society organisations with an innovative tool to monitor the family planning data across the 69 countries of FP2020. This makes it possible for countries to assess progress at all levels, global, regional, country and local, helping them to enhance their ongoing efforts. In addition, the report presents a new indicator for contraceptive discontinuation, which will be useful in giving a fuller picture of the dynamics of contraceptive use.
For the way forward, the report calls for a sharpened focus on rights, accountability and financing. Vowing to leave no one behind, the FP2020 reaffirms its commitment to the rights of women and girls and to amplifying efforts to include those often missed out: adolescents and youth, the poor and the marginalised and women and girls in crisis settings.
The report can be accessed at: http://progress.familyplanning2020.org/en
The FP2020 is led by a 23-member Reference Group, which is operated by a Secretariat hosted by the United Nations Foundation. Achieving the FP2020 goal is a critical milestone to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights by 2030, as laid out in Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5. It also contributes to the goals of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and supports the Every Woman Every Child movement.
For PFI, the FP2020 is one of its guiding principles and much of its work is steered by it. The leadership of the organisation has been and continues to be closely engaged in the various decision making bodies of the global partnership.