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In 1999, the partnership started with WHO, Department of Reproductive Health (WHO/RHR) and the then Department of Organization and Health Systems (WHO/OSD). Through surveys, literature reviews and consultations with international partners, the partnership sought to answer the question, “Is there a gap between the knowledge we generate and how it is received, used and applied in practice?".

In early 2000, ten international agencies met with WHO/RHR and analysed the literature review and the lessons learned through country experience. Together they developed the first IBP strategy to support the effective dissemination, adaptation and utilization of technical tools and guidelines. This became known as the DAU Process - Disseminate, Adapt, and Utilize

 The development of the DAU strategy led to an informal partnership between Engender Health, FHI, INTRAH/Prime, IPPF, JHU/CCP, JHPIEGO, Public Health Institute, MSH, Pathfinder International, USAID, and WHO/RHR. The partners agreed to harmonize approaches and base their role on implementing the DAU process through the application of the USAID MAQ Initiative's synergy of interventions. 

After reviewing the DAU process the partners decided that rather than focusing largely on introducing and implementing technical guidelines, the revised process would embrace a larger range of issues. A country’s needs and priorities would decide which issues received attention. The DAU process itself would become less linear. Experience in country would receive more attention, and best practices already developed would be identified, highlighted and shared. Knowledge would be shared and exchanged in all directions. 

By early 2001 the partners had adopted the new name—the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative. In a May meeting partners worked on a new conceptual framework built on the principles of leadership and change management, Performance Improvement and Knowledge Management. The vision of the initiative was:

The Implementing Best Practices (IBP) process is a collaborative global effort to identify best family planning/reproductive health practices and support the development of learning and creative programs to apply them.

In mid-year 2002 partners agreed to form a consortium— not a new organization, but rather a formal commitment among existing organizations to work together, using a common methodology, to pursue a common goal. A strategy document entitled Implementing Best Practices in Reproductive Health, published in 2002, described the partnership and spelled out its process.

By 2003 the partnership had grown to 17 international agencies and partners agreed to form a consortium. After much discussion the partners agreed to the wording of a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU codified the vision, goal, guiding principles and objectives of the Consortium—and of the Initiative—which already underpinned the partnership. 

Want to know more about the how IBP started? Click here to see a list of all of our activities.

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