Civil Society Advocates for Family Planning in West Africa

Thanks to a new grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, IntraHealth International will continue to build and strengthen relationships among governments and civil society groups in Benin, Mali, and Senegal, and will newly expand this work into Niger and Burkina Faso.

Maternal mortality and fertility rates remain high in West Africa as the use of modern family planning methods and contraceptives remains low. Through the Strengthening Civil Society Engagement for Family Planning in West Africa (CS4FP) project, IntraHealth will work side-by-side with civil society organizations and governments to give more women, families, and young people access to high-quality family planning services.

At a 2011 family planning conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West African governments made formal commitments to reduce maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning by 25% in their countries by 2015. Nine of these countries, along with key donors in the region, formed the Ouagadougou Partnership to continue collaborating to meet their family planning commitments.

Through the ongoing CS4FP, IntraHealth will strengthen the advocacy role of civil society organizations and foster partnerships among the organizations and governments to help countries achieve those goals, particularly through greater investment in high-quality family planning services.

This new two-year grant will allow the project to:

  • Expand an existing network of well-functioning civil society coalitions into two new countries: Niger and Burkina Faso.
  • Build the capacity of coalitions across all five countries to advocate to governments for family planning and contribute to the international dialogue surrounding it.
  • Foster exchange among the coalitions, including sharing best practices.
  • Engage youth with coalitions in Benin, Mali, and Senegal as members and partners, thereby ensuring advocacy efforts are representative of those who use family planning services and fostering the next generation of advocates.
  • Ensure donors honor funding commitments made at family planning events in Ouagadougou, London, and FP2020.
  • Ultimately contribute to improved maternal, newborn, and child health by increasing the use and availability of family planning services in West Africa.

The Strengthening Civil Society Engagement for Family Planning in West Africa (CS4FP) project is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.