World Population Day 2016 Statement
July 11, 2016
Translating Policy to Action
Our world is diverse—the need to address its population-related issues is vital to helping people achieve their own potential, and helping countries achieve the economic growth goals they have set for themselves. World Population Day 2016 gives us the opportunity to take stock of our progress in addressing a variety of population issues. These include meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of youth, helping countries achieve national goals for Family Planning 2020, and generating evidence to garner political and financial support for family planning (FP).
HP+ is committed to addressing population-based issues. In the past, it was sufficient to see that a national policy was approved. Today, policy approval is only the first step toward addressing an issue. HP+ is dedicated to translating policies into action in order to achieve results. Through building capacity and commitment, countries are taking ownership of their issues and are increasingly investing their own resources for locally developed solutions.
The project is translating costed implementation plans (CIPs) for family planning into concrete steps to allow women and men better access to family planning services. Developing a CIP brings stakeholders together to focus on issues, identify strategies, and think about how to achieve national goals. While CIPs address commodities and service delivery, they also focus on demand generation, advocacy issues, and financing. Our growing work in CIP execution in Pakistan, Malawi, Madagascar, and Nigeria adapts successful approaches in the commercial sector to public sector strategies—and supports their execution through visual and analytic tools that guide stakeholders to take the actions needed to achieve national goals.
HP+ responds to the needs of young people whose requirements for sexual and reproductive health information and services often goes unaddressed. In Malawi, we are assessing the implementation of a national FP policy to see how it responds to the needs of youth—both married and unmarried. After identifying policy barriers, we will work with stakeholders to develop and implement solutions that ensure that all women have access to modern contraception and are able to have the number of children they want, when they want them.
HP+ also engages stakeholders to generate evidence in support of population and FP policies and programs. The project’s work in financing helps countries estimate the resources needed to provide universal health coverage—including family planning—and then mobilize the resources needed to support such health programs. HP+ policy models consider the near-term health and economic benefits of investing in family planning (ImpactNow), as well as the longer-term need to manage population growth and achieve sustained economic growth (RAPID and DemDiv). The evidence resulting from these models has convinced national presidents and parliaments of the benefits of prioritizing family planning.
World Population Day 2016 reminds all of us—leaders, advocates, and citizens—that attention given to population issues is critical to the development of nations and individuals alike. From communities to global engagement, HP+ is committed to actions that advance the health and well-being of all the world’s peoples.