COUNTRY ENGAGEMENT WORKING GROUP
FP2020 works through its Country Engagement Working Group (CE WG) to help governments develop, implement and monitor their family planning programs. In order to ensure a responsive country-engagement strategy, the CE WG is vested in developing a process that is grounded in country-level perspectives and needs.
One of the cornerstones of FP2020 is the efficient use of existing structures and mechanisms wherever possible. In keeping with this philosophy, the CE WG has established an FP2020 focal point network that consists of UNFPA, USAID and DFID representatives who are already in-country. Government focal points are designated by ministries of health. The donor focal points work with the government to identify gaps in implementation, align resources to goals and ensure that FP2020 is grounded in work that is consistent with government priorities and complements efforts by existing partners. The focal point network also contributes to an increased level of coordination between donor agencies, often through the government-led coordinating committees.
The CE WG has developed an algorithm to guide the process of brokering resources to countries for assistance with their family planning programs. The algorithm, which is included with each country’s FP2020 welcome kit, outlines the steps involved in matching resources with a country’s requests for funding or technical assistance.
Countries need to have costed implementation plans (CIPs) in place to guide their family planning strategies and to facilitate the matching of funds and resources. The CE WG works with countries to help them develop, strengthen, review and cost their plans. The CE WG is in the process of compiling a resource kit with the information and tools needed to develop a CIP, including a library of real-world CIPs for reference and an inventory of best practices.
The CE WG monitors countries’ family planning progress by completing landscape questionnaires based on countries’ own plans and data from partners, by working with focal points to track implementation of family planning plans and by developing implementation reports for countries without country plans.
COSTED IMPLEMENTATION PLANS
To expand access to contraception, leaders must be strategic in how to invest limited resources among competing priorities. As a result, governments have invested in family planning CIPs to accelerate their progress. A CIP is a multiyear strategic plan that maps and coordinates the investments and activities among partners toward achieving the country’s family planning goals.
Governments in West Africa, as part of the Ouagadougou Partnership, and in East Africa began investing in CIPs as early as 2010. Since then, 15 governments globally have begun implementing CIPs as a road map to coordinate the work of their partners. Key elements of a CIP include: 1) interventions needed to meet the country’s priority goals, 2) the costs associated with the interventions, 3) donor information to mobilize the needed resources, and 4) a strategy to monitor progress toward the goals. Currently, seven additional governments are developing CIPs.
- There are three sequential phases to the CIP process: plan, develop and implement. Throughout the process, stakeholder engagement, advocacy and capacity-building are essential cross-cutting components in achieving success.
- The planning phase includes securing government and stakeholder buy-in. An initial identification and engagement of key stakeholders is conducted; the approach, tools and techniques are defined (i.e., the how, by whom and when); and resources for the development of the CIPs are secured.
- The development phase involves creating the strategy and planning for the transition into the execution phase. The development process is iterative and cyclical and involves defining priority issues, interventions and activities and generating budgetary costs. It also includes defining institutional arrangements for implementation, developing a performance-monitoring mechanism and conducting advocacy.
- In the final phase, the CIP is implemented, monitored and managed. Implementation involves several steps that occur in tandem to ensure a sustained commitment from leaders and stakeholders at all levels: leading and managing plan implementation, resource mobilization, advocacy and monitoring progress toward goals. This phase also ensures that the CIP is a dynamic document, subject to periodic review and revision based on results and changes in the internal and external environment.
Partners globally have been providing support to governments since the inception of the CIP process. To collect and unify the knowledge and learning that has been gained, FP2020 convened global experts in May 2014 to share their experiences and expertise. During the meeting, experts agreed on a consensus package of information and tools that will be included in a resource kit for the creation of new plans as well as the support of existing plans. The CIP resource kit will be
available in early 2015.