UK DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The UK has put women’s and girls’ empowerment at the center of its international development program and considers family planning fundamental to enabling women and girls to take control over their own lives and fulfill their potential. The UK is a proud supporter of FP2020, supporting family planning programs in 20 countries as well as a large global program to enhance reproductive health commodity security. The UK also supports non-governmental organizations such as Marie Stopes International, International Planned Parenthood Federation and Save the Children.
The UK is on track to meet its commitment to increase annual spending on family planning from £90 million per year to £180 million per year by 2020. This increased support has resulted in almost five million additional women being reached with family planning services by mid-2014, almost 4% of the 2020 target. By 2012, DFID programs were estimated to have saved over 16,000 maternal deaths using list modeling. This is good progress but the gains have to be sustained.
The UK is actively involved in the Reference Group and the four working groups of FP2020, and has taken a key role with other FP2020 donors in the global high-level policy dialogue to reduce the prices of key family planning commodities, develop new technologies for drugs that are easier to administer, and ensure high-quality commodities are made available.
The UK has recently approved and begun the tendering process for a new civil society–led program to hold governments accountable to citizens for their FP2020 financial and policy commitments. This will ensure that programs respect and promote women’s and girls’ rights to determine reproductive choices, and is likely to begin in early 2015.
DFID began funding a Scaling Up Family Planning Programme (SUFP) in Zambia in 2012. Up until this time, family planning was integrated within broader primary health care, but in reality had not been progressing much as Zambia has one of the highest fertility rates in the region.
The build up to the London Summit enabled all key interested partners in Zambia to come together to discuss possible commitments and a way forward. This was strongly championed by the first lady and the newly formed Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. After the Summit, with the help of partners, including SUFP, Zambia produced its first-ever 8-year family planning scale-up plan, and the issue was firmly placed on the national agenda.
The FP2020 activities in Zambia have been coordinated by UNFPA, largely through the government’s active family planning technical working group, and all programs are integrated with the national plan. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, UNFPA and DFID have also been meeting regularly to discuss supporting the government in the achievement of their objectives.
The UK-funded program SUFP now operates in 26 districts and has reached over 100,000 new users with family planning. Family planning is “out there” in Zambia, being discussed and thought about. The overwhelming response from women, their husbands, traditional chiefs and leaders has been, “we are so glad to hear about this—we need to space our children and prevent young girls from leaving school to have children that they did not plan for.”
Zambia has increased its funding to reproductive health commodities and has allowed task-shifting of the delivery of injectable contraceptives to community health assistants, two of its FP2020 commitments.
31. DFID Departmental Results Framework
32. Lives Saved Analysis for the Department of International Development (DFID) Year 2: Global Programs 2010-2012 and 2010-2015