DFID has now shared a full summary of commitments from the Summit. You can view the commitments here.
As a result of the work of the Summit partners, we gained unprecedented global political commitment to family planning, and a financial promise of more than $4bn over the next eight years. View our own pledge here.
Marie Stopes International and The London Summit on Family Planning: Our Impact
Monday, 9th July
Faustina Fynne-Nyame, Country Director of Marie Stopes International Ghana, was invited to join a panel chaired by Dr Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet.
The event brought together demographers, economists, NGOs, donors and human rights specialists to reflect on The Lancet’s family planning special that launched to coincide with the summit.
Tuesday, 10th July
We hosted a technical meeting, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, on public private partnerships.
We were privileged to have a high level panel, who shared their experiences and learning on the issues including:
- Dr Christine Kaseba Sata (First Lady of Zambia), Honourable Dr Hussein Mwinyi
- (Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania), Dr Tony Falconer (President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists), Ian Askew (Population Council), Andrea Duncan (UK Department of Health) and Dr Jennifer Wanyana (Ministry of Health, Uganda)
Co-ordinated by the Marie Stopes International team in Brussels, Countdown 2015 Europe hosted a reception in the European Parliament to demonstrate Europe’s support for women’s reproductive rights.
At the event, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary for the World Young Women’s Christian Association Zimbabwe, explained the difficulties faced by her and her 10 brothers and sisters growing up in Zimbabwe:
As the youngest of 11 children, the only reason why I am here is because I was able receive an education, and could access family planning.
Antonyia Parvanova, MEP, was delighted to host the event and to welcome MEPs, their support staff and representatives of the NGO community among the 90 guests who attended.
MSI-US co-sponsored an event for interns and young professionals on Capitol Hill focussing on the London Summit on Family Planning with the goal of garnering support and increasing awareness for universal access to reproductive health commodities, services, and education among a youth audience.
Thursday, 12th July
MSI-US organised and hosted a reception at the National Press Club to celebrate US Government leadership on family planning, toast the commitments made at the London Summit, and demonstrate support for working towards ensuring the implementation of these commitments to achieve universal access to reproductive health.
Organisational co-sponsors included IPPF, PPFA, Pathfinder, IntraHealth, Save the Children, USAID, and UNFPA.
Wednesday, 11th July
In a world in which donors are increasingly oriented towards “results-based financing”, it becomes ever more important to ensure that the definition of a result includes voluntary choice among a range of sexual and reproductive health services that respect and protect rights.
To finish the week, Marie Stopes International hosted an "open house", inviting colleagues, donors, partners and friends – including Dr Abdullah Fahim, Deputy Minister of Public Health, Afghanistan – to celebrate the achievements of the week.
To mark the Summit, Marie Stopes International Foundation Romania hosted a workshop titled "U are part of this chain", in partnership with other NGOs in Romania such as Association of Young Initiative, PSI Romania-Love Plus, Euroregional Center for Public Initiative (ECPI), Bucharest Metropolitan Library Branch "Ion Creanga" and IREX Romania/Biblionet .
Marie Stopes International Australia hosted the official Asia-Pacific sister event to the London Summit.
The event was attended by politicians, AusAid, media and other key stakeholders and thanks to support from the team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we were able to show edited highlights of the summit in London so our colleagues were able to witness the pledges being made to forward a woman’s right to use contraception for themselves.
As an organisation that provides services to millions of women every year, and thanks to our teams around the world, we were uniquely placed to tell the story of the women the summit aimed to reach.
This high-profile coverage gave us the opportunity to explain why we believe the family planning services we offer are so transformational for women in the 42 countries we work in.
Both DFID and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation expressed how vital it was that we work together to tell the story of family planning to the public.
Stories and pictures from Marie Stopes International programmes featured heavily on partner websites and social media channels. Our case studies from Tanzania, Mali, Senegal, Zambia and Ghana, were profiled on the DFID and Gates Foundation’s websites.
We gained a coveted spot in the viewing gallery alongside journalists and bloggers, allowing is to provide live updates directly from proceedings at the Summit.
In addition, the UN Foundation invited us to take part in their Twitter chat, alongside DFID, The Gates Foundation, USAID, and Nike (Girl Effect). For our segment, Harriet Nalugya, a clinical outreach worker in our Uganda programme, talked about why family planning is so important to the women she delivers services to in hard-to-reach rural locations.
A message of thanks from our CEO, Dana Hovig:
Last week, Marie Stopes International was honoured to have a central role in the London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by DFID and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This groundbreaking event wouldn't have been possible without our partners.
I want to thank you, our partners, for joining us for this milestone in the history of family planning.
The Summit was the start of something really important. It will improve the lives of millions of girls and women in the poorest countries who have told us they want access to family planning.
It ended with a donor pledge for an additional $2.6bn of funding for family planning.
Our own contribution to the long term goals of the London Summit on Family Planning will be to double the number of women we serve with contraception by 2020.
The real work starts here. I invite you to join us in completing the family planning revolution that was started 50 years ago and make the Summit’s goal of reaching 120 million new users a reality.
View our live coverage from the Summit below
13th July The Economist has profiled our programme in Burkina Faso in an piece which maps the resurgence of family planning and the London Summit. The article opens:
At the Marie Stopes clinic on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, Juliette, who is about 30 years old, smiles up from the table where she is having an intrauterine contraceptive coil fitted.
A number of bloggers have now posted their reports from "blogger alley" at the London Summit of Family Planning.
Zohra Moosa, Women's Rights Advisor at ActionAid UK, writes in the The F-Word magazine, "A number of important commitments [were] made on legal and policy changes that are worth highlighting".
Senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and Director for Europe, Owen Barder, says, "It is to the great credit of Andrew Mitchell, David Cameron and Melinda Gates that they did not shy away from the controversy which has prevented real attention to this issue."
Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development, co-authors a piece with Research Assistant, Rachel Silverman. They conclude: "Family planning is back with a bang, thanks to this week’s London Summit".
And Lynn Schreiber writes in her Salt and Caramel blog writes that the Summit was about "more than statistics and soundbites".
13:33 The Gates Foundation and DFID have released an official commitments summary from The London Summit on Family Planning, yesterday. View the full list of commitments here.
12:42 The White Ribbon Alliance has produced a video report from the Summit yesterday. Watch the video here. It includes interviews from the Bangladesh Government, the Malawian Vice President, PMNCH, ICM, and Lancet Editor Richard Horton.
10:27 The Gates Foundation's latest Impatient Optimist blog is from Latanya Mapp Frett, Vice President – Global at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, from the London Summit on Family Planning. She argues:
We won’t see thriving societies without women’s empowerment. That empowerment must include supporting women's ability to decide if, when, and how often they become pregnant.
10:13 Here's the transcript from the UK Prime Minister David Cameron's speech at the London Summit on Family Planning, yesterday.
12th July 09:03 The Guardian Global development website has published a report on the money raised at the London Summit on Family Planning.
16:21 The Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises published a letter earlier in the day asking that family planning for people displaced by conflict and natural disasters are not forgotten.
Andrew Mitchell announces overall figure for commitments today is $2bn from developing countries and $2.6bn from donor community #FPSummit— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 11, 2012
15:38 Following a speech from First Lady Chantal Compaore, Burkina Faso, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Executive Director, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, takes to the stage. He begins by commending Rwanda for having the parliament with the highest proportion of women in the world.
15:17 President Kikwete of Tanzania commits to reaching 60% of women with contraception by 2020.
15:09 We'd like to thank Harriet, one of our outreach workers in Uganda, for answering questions about delivering family planning services in remote locations as part of #FPChat.
14:44 Melinda Gates announces a new $560m funding for family planning between now and 2020.
14:30 UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, says:
Countries cannot tackle poverty when women are dying from unwanted pregnancy.
14:12 Delegates gather after lunch for a series of announcements before the Keynote Panel.
13:49 The Summit has now paused for a brief lunch break. Join us at 14:30 BST for a Twitter chat with Harriet Nalugya, a service provider for Marie Stopes Uganda. Today she is providing services at Azur Medical Centre, near the World Population Day celebrations. You can follow the session and post questions here.
12:51 Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed to give $50m to family planning work.
12:49 The Government of Australia has commited to doubling investment in family planning, provide training and focus on educating women on their family planning options.
12:41 During a Blogger Q&A with Youth Delegates from IPPF and Save the Children, peer educator, Aselefe Belete Endale, 17, emphasised the importance of giving all women and girls access and education to family planning. She said that by working with peer educators outreach teams can offer quality family planning to young people more effectively. Read about our work in Ethiopia.
12:35 The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has committed $25 million to family planning.
12.27 The UK's Prime Minister has just reaffirmed his government's commitment to providing family planning in developing countries during Prime Minister's Question Time in the UK Parliament.
12.00 Sky News covering the Family Planning Summit with a video story from Malawi looking at the extent of women dying in childbirth every day, and an interview with Melinda Gates.
11.49 You can read the latest in our "Imagine a world..." series on the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists website - "Imagine a world where you know contraception exists" - written by Colette Ndoye a Midwife and Clinical Services Directorfrom our programme in Senegal.
11:32 We're now going to hear from the Senegale Minister of Health, Dr Awa Marie Coll-Seck.
11:18 We've just received a blog from one of our team members at the World Population Day celebrations in the Hoima in Western Uganda where we are delivering family planning services today.
World Population day is a big deal in Uganda. This year, its being held in Hoima town, a small city in Western Uganda which is growing rapidly after oil was discovered nearby. Attended by the Prime Minister and a great number of other dignitaries, the event includes everything from speeches to a bicycle race.
Marie Stopes Uganda takes the opportunity of having so many people together to offer outreach services free of charge, with support from UNFPA. Today, MSU has set up at a private health facility that adjoins the celebration, and I dropped by in the course of the day.
Though this was a special occasion, it wasn't out of the ordinary - this was one of 24 teams which are out every day, providing free services at over 1,200 rural public health facilities throughout Uganda. Giving birth to twins is a big deal in Buganda, the ancient kingdom of which Hoima is part. Its such an honour that the mother gets to add an extra name to her own, "Nawlongo".
While at the outreach site, I met Helen, who had just gotten the opportunity to add "Nawlongo" to her name after bringing her family size from 6 to 8. Though she had used family planning before to space her births, she had trouble remembering to take pills everyday and was now sure that she was ready to stop completely.
Though she knew that she could receive services on her own, she decided to call her husband to support her while she underwent a tubal ligation, which the MSU team provided free of charge on the spot.
11:01 Delegates applaud video address on the importance of family planning by Aung San Suu Kyi, before we move onto an announcement from Dr Agung Laksono, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare, from the Indonesian Government.
Indian Government commitment: Family planning will be free of cost across India including through the private sector #FPSummit— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 11, 2012
The Huffington Post has today posted an article by our CEO, Dana Hovig.
Mr Hovig says:
The vast unmet need for contraception is one problem that deserves focused attention: for the sake of those 222 million women, family planning needs this moment in the sun.
10:38 The Indian Government has committed to offering free access to family planning across the country including through the private sector.
10:30 Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Anuradha Gupta, says:
India is pleased to commit that family planning shall be a central part of our efforts to ensure universal health care.
10:13 Dr Joseph Katema, Zambian Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, says:
We will increase budget allocation by 100% to increase access to family planning services.
Philippines expanding access for poor women, offering universal access. #fpsummit— Jeffrey Spector (@jeffreyspector) July 11, 2012
10:03 The Ethiopian Health Minister says:
Family planning has been highly politicised in the past but this is starting to change.
09:58 Sarah Montague introduces Ethiopia's Minister of Health to the stage Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebruyesus. He says:
The key conditions for achieving unprecedented impact are now aligned as never before.
Melinda Gates: "We are bringing fartwitter.co more resources to this effort than have ever been brought before" #FPSummit— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 11, 2012
09:43 "This summit is surely one of the most exciting days of my life", says Melinda Gates.
09:37 Sarah Montague from the BBC takes to the stage to introduce the day's proceedings. She welcomes the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, to make his opening address.
09:28 Delegates have been asked to take their seats, the programme will be starting shortly.
09:17 The atsmosphere is building as the room fills with delegates from around the world. There's a real sense of optimism here today.
09:09 Delegates are now beginning to filter into the main auditorium here in London, taking their seats before the event starts.
08:47 Welcome to The London Summit on Family Planning. We will be posting live coverage of the day from the "blogger alley" viewing gallery . We'll keep you updated on all the key announcements, speeches and events of the day.
11th July 07:49 Join us today at 2:30 GMT for a live Twitter chat with Harriet Nalugya, a family planning provider for Marie Stopes Uganda.
Today she is providing services at Azur Medical Centre, but will be taking some time out to answer your questions at 4:30pm Uganda time (2:30 GMT). Like all of Marie Stopes Uganda's outreach services, the services she's offering today are free for poor and rural clients.
Harriet has been working with Marie Stopes Uganda for six months as a service provider. She is nurse from Mukono district and usually works in Katakwi Distirct in North Eastern Uganda.
16:07 Our side event "Making the money work for family planning: what can the private sector offer for scaling up services" has now drawn to a close. The event saw fascinating insights from our panelists on the role the private sector has to play in delivering quality family planning services in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.
1545: Ian Askew adds:
In some countries vouchers are viewed as a transition to health insurance.
15:30 Director of Reproductive Health Services and Research at the Population Council, Ian Askew, says:
Vouchers bring the health subsidy straight to the hands of the client. Accreditation processes can improve quality across the private sector. Vouchers support accountability by transfering risk and responsibility to the provider
15:16 Jenniger Wanyana says Marie Stopes Uganda vouchers provided maternal health services to about one sixth of Ugandan women. She adds that the Government of Uganda wants to scale up our voucher scheme with support from DFID.
15:04: Jennifer Wanyana, from Ugandan Ministry of Health, says:
Uganda leads the way in public-private partnership (PPP). Over 50% of family planning is delivered in partnership with the private sector.
She adds that piloting task sharing is a PPP with Marie Stopes Uganda.
14:51 Minister of Health and Social Services, Tanzania, says:
"Many methods of contraception only reach women via public-private partnership (PPP). For some methods it's over a fifth of users."
14:39 The First Lady of Zambia, Dr Christine Kaseba, is a speaking at our side event ahead of the London Summit.
Long-acting and perm. (LAPM) contraceptive use increase in Zambia thanks to partnership with private providers, says First Lady #FPSummit— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 10, 2012
Zambian First Lady: "Success in Zambia can be replicated in other countries. It's the only way we can meet the ambitious #FPSummit goals"— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 10, 2012
14:30 View our new Flickr photo gallery, A day in the life of a family planning outreach team, Tanzania.
The outreach team set off around 5am from one of our clinics, which acts as their base. Once they leave the base, they stay out in rural areas for up to 20 days. Read more.
14:12 The New York Times reports on a new study from Johns Hopkins University which shows that fulfilling unmet contraception demand by women in developing countries could reduce global maternal mortality by nearly a third.
13:24 Ambassador Mark Dybul writes the latest in the recent series of Impatient Optimist blog posts for the London Summit on Family Planning. He writes:
200 million women who want access to interventions to prevent unintended pregnancies do not have it. It is the goal of the London meeting to ensure that by 2020, 120 million will get it.
Ambassador Dynul is Distinguished Scholar, The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University and Inaugural Global Health Fellow, The George W. Bush Institute.
13:00 The Independent newspaper reports "London Summit on Family Planning to halve number of women without access to contraceptives". The article includes the story of Mwanasha, a mother-of-two from Malawi, who owes her health to a UK aid support programme called Banja La Mtsogolo, part of our work in the country.
International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, says:
It is a shocking fact that pregnancy can be a death sentence for many girls and women in the developing world. What is all the more devastating is that many of these pregnancies were unintended.
That is why the British Government and the Gates Foundation are hosting a summit in London ... which we hope will cut in half the number of girls and women who want contraception to delay or space their pregnancies but are unable to access it.
12:03 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is this evening hosting an event "Family Planning: Why Do We Need a London Summit?". Speakers include The Gates Foundation's Family Health Division lead, Gary Darmstadt, among others.
10:22 We're taking part in the UN Foundation's #FPChat tomorrow. At 09:30 EST (14:30 BST) one of our clinical outreach workers will be joining us from rural Uganda to talk about delivering services on the ground and why contraception is so important to the women she works with.
09:04 The Gates Foundation have produced an excellent Storify round-up of what's being said in the lead up to the London Summit on Family Planning. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) is also providing regular updates on its website.
9th July: The UK's International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, will today be taking part in a Mumsnet webchat at 12:30 BST today. Post your questions here.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has posted an animated video and blog asking ‘Where's the Controversy in Saving Lives?’.
Melinda Gates speaks about why giving women and girls access to family planning is the easiest way to give them the ability to determine their own futures.
6th July: Today, we're proud to announce that to contribute to the long term goals of the London Summit on Family Planning, we will be doubling the number of women we serve by 2020. Read the full pledge here.
We're sharing an interactive timeline of Milestones in the global family planning revolution. You can embed the timeline on your own website, follow the instructions here.
5th July: Mukanga Sindazi is the Outreach team leader with Marie Stopes International, Zambia. Today, she writes about the difference that access to contraception makes to women in rural Zambia.
4th July: The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) have developed a Pinterest board entitled Family planning: facts, stats and infographics which includes the infographic below from our Global Impact Report. They ask:
Do you know how many women around the world want access to contraception - but can't get it?
Click on the image to view a larger version.
3rd July: Ahead of the London Summit on Family Planning, the Guardian's Global Develoment site is asking you to share your views on the practical – and political – challenges to expanding access to contraception.
Jaz Cummins writes:
Before the summit, we'd like to hear your views on the main obstacles to accessing contraception. What are the challenges in your area? In your community? What's blocking access for people around the world? What would you say if you had a place at the decision-making table?
In a podcast with The Guardian, Dr Yasmin Ahmed, our Vice President and Senior Regional Director, South Asia, Arab World and Eastern Europe, discusses how and why family planning must become a worldwide priority. Listen here.
Yasmin contributed to the panel discussion with Julia Bunting, head of DFID’s reproductive health team; Neil Datta, co-ordinator of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development; and Gita Sen, professor at the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management.
In Ghana, where I was born and where I have the privilege of working every day, we see a bright future for the women of this country. But the reason I am working here is because that future is still some way off for a huge proportion of the women of Ghana. Today, though, I wanted to tell a story of hope and empowerment from our capital, Accra.
2nd July: In the developing world, a young woman’s future is often determined by whether she can choose to access contraception or not.
Miriam lives in the west African country of Mali. Like many Malian women she married young. In Mali, 65% of women aged 20–24 were married by the age of 18, and 25% were married by just 15, often for long established cultural reasons.
She became pregnant again less than a year after giving birth to her first child. At the age of 18, she now has two children under the age of three to look after.
Below is a selection of some of today's best #FPSummit tweets.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations's Family Health Division lead, Gary Darmstadt, has co-authored a blog with Win Brown and Wendy Prosser in the run-up to the London Summit on Family Planning. They write:
We all must be held accountable for fulfilling the promise to the poorest women and girls in the world of ensuring access to high-quality, voluntary family planning programs.
1st July: We're delighted to be Twitter Champions for the latest #FPSummit theme - Contraceptives change lives.
Follow us on Twitter for inspiring stories and key facts about how contraceptives change lives. Here's just a small selection.
Contraceptives Change Lives: Khadeza and Jahanara live in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but their lives are very different ow.ly/bURsc...— Marie Stopes (MSI) (@MarieStopes) July 1, 2012
30th June: News-Medical.Net reports today that the London Summit on Family Planning is "poised to provide 'staggering' results". Read more here.
29th June: Melinda Gates appeared on the Colbert Report last night to talk about why she believes it's so important to empower women and girls to plan their families.
Melinda blogged today:
Surely, there’s no controversy in all of us coming together to help women and girls lead healthy and productive lives. Join me in this critical effort by taking a pledge. Pledge your support around the uncontroversial idea that every girl and woman deserves the opportunity to determine her future.
On July 11, I’ll be in London with world leaders who will gather to pledge their support to help transform the lives of the world’s poorest women and girls. Together, we can raise our voices for the millions of women and girls who want access to contraceptives but don’t have it.
28th June: Gary Darmstadt is Director of Family Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Today, he has written an AlertNet blog entitled, "Health and Science - Family planning: Reaching for the Summit".
Mr Darmstadt writes:
Not long ago, I met a young woman in India named Meena whose daily struggle to provide for her five children left a lasting impression on me. She and her two-week-old baby participated in a family health program that my team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports.
27th June: Take the pledge on the new #NoControversy website and stand in solidarity with more 200 million women and girls in developing countries who want to delay or avoid becoming pregnant but don’t have access to contraceptives, information, and services.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, launched our Global Impact Report in the UK Houses of Parliament, yesterday afternoon.
26th June: Our UK Medical Director, Paula Franklin, asks us to imagine a world without contraception in the first of our "Imagine a World..." series for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog, today.
It’s true that women in the UK don’t always know all the pros and cons of different contraceptives and why an implant might suit them better then the pill.
It’s true that we still hear stories of women who don’t live in a major city taking several buses to get a contraceptive injection.
But fundamentally, we know that contraception exists.
Over the coming weeks the "Imagine a world…" series of blogs will take us to Ghana, Senegal and Zambia.
Below is a selection of the latest posts from the #FPSummit conversation on Twitter.
Who else is preparing for the #FPSummit?We're excited to be Twitter champions Thurs and Fri!— USAID Global Health (@USAIDGH) June 25, 2012
20th June: The Guardian's Sarah Boseley writes an interesting blog post asking:
Is family planning as easy as paying for shipments of condoms and injectable contraceptives?
The summit will call for unprecedented commitment and resources to offer quality family planning services to the 215 million women in the developing world who want to use contraceptives but cannot access them.
Global leaders will attend from governments - including the US, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania - development agencies, institutions and the private sector, with the aim to transform the lives of millions of women who still don’t have access to contraceptives.
CEO of Marie Stopes International, Dana Hovig, has welcomed the summit, saying:
Marie Stopes International is honoured to be working with our partners at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Department for International Development (DFID) and other partners to deliver this groundbreaking event in London.
As one of the world’s leading providers of sexual and reproductive healthcare, Marie Stopes International knows that family planning is not only life-saving, it’s transformational, and one of the most cost effective health interventions available.
We exist to bring quality family planning and reproductive healthcare to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and have been delivering these services for over 30 years.
Below is a selection of posts from the #NoControversy conversation on Twitter.
The UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said:
The UK Government is determined to take action. We will work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and our partners to improve the lives of millions of girls and women in the poorest countries who want to avoid pregnancy and improve their health, education and future chances.
That is why Britain will host a Family Planning summit later this year to help them take charge of their lives for the better.
At Marie Stopes International, our goal is to give people choices, so they can plan their families and their own futures. Read more about our work around the world.