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Highlights of activities undertaken by partners of the IBP Consortium during 2007 to support the implementation of the annual program of work.

IBP Chair handover from IntraHealth to Jhpiego, IBP MOU extended indefinitely, IBP Steering Committee Meetings and IBP Consortium Meetings to review technical updates and engage with our country partners to review progress on key activities undertaken by the partnership.

IntraHealth International accepted the Chair of the IBP Consortium in October 2005, under the leadership of Dr. Pape Gaye, President, IntraHealth Inc. All partners agreed to extend the tenure of the Chair to two years in order to provide continuity and sustained leadership. Jhpiego accepted the Chair from October 2007. IBP partners would like to thank Dr. Pape Gaye and his team for the excellent support they provided to the IBP Consortium. Their vision and leadership enabled us to build on the work of previous Chair, Family Health International, to finalize our revised Operational Guidelines, the IBP Strategy for 2006 - 2010, to expand our partnership, and to move forward towards our common goals.

At the IBP Consortium Meeting in November 2007 the Chair of the IBP Consortium was handed over to Dr Ronald Magarick, PhD, Director, Global Programs, Jhpiego. 

IBP Memorandum of Understanding

The IBP Memorandum of Understanding expired in December 2007. The IBP Steering Committee at the June 2007 meeting passed a motion to extend the MOU indefinitely and to use the IBP Operating Guidelines to provide flexible guidance on IBP Consortium standard operating procedures. 

All partners were approached during 2007 to agree to an indefinite extension of the IBP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 26 out of the 27 partners re-signed the MOU. The one remaining partner is reconsidering its membership, as it has not been able to participate fully in the IBP Consortium due to funding constraints. 

Summary of IBP Steering Committee Meetings - 2007

IntraHealth International has held the Chair of the IBP Consortium for the last two years and Jhpiego agreed to accept the chair in October 2007. To support Jhpiego’s take over the Chair, partners undertook a self assessment in order to determine how the partners see their organization's participation in terms of current and potential impact and also to gain insights about the value of the IBP Consortium to IBP members. The outcome of the assessment was discussed during the IBP Consortium meeting held November 2007.

IBP Consortium historical overview

At the request of the IBP Steering Committee the IBP Secretariat presented an overview of the growth and development of the IBP Consortium since the inception of the partnership in 1999.  

IBP Secretariat Report

The IBP Secretariat provided the IBP Steering Committee members with a concise review of how the Secretariat functions within WHO and the activities undertaken to support the partnership during 2007. 

The Steering Committee commended the diversity of the activities and acknowledged the need to make a case to USAID for its continued support to the IBP Secretariat and IBP Knowledge Gateway in upcoming projects and procurements. In particular the re-bidding of the INFO Project should include a mandate to continue supporting the IBP Knowledge Gateway. 

IBP Funding

USAID provides the majority of funds to support one staff member of the IBP Secretariat and key activities. The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, (WHO/RHR) also provides funding to support one senior adviser and IBP activities. In addition, funds are leveraged through cost-sharing and country specific activities. It is therefore possible to fund IBP activities by including specific activities in annual work plans. The partnership needs to be very clear about what the funds should support. It was noted that the IBP Secretariat would need the support of partners to approach potential donors. 

Marketing the IBP Consortium

The Steering Committee felt the importance to market the IBP Consortium effectively within our own organizations, country projects and programs to ensure that IBP activities become incorporated into annual work plans and budget lines. The establishment of a Task Team was proposed to address this issue in more depth.  

The IBP Consortium meetings are held twice a year during June and November 2007 tagged onto global health events. Since November 2007 the meetings have been extended to one and half days. Both meetings were very well attended. In these lively and intense meetings the results of the committed partnership are reviewed and the next steps planned.

Working group sessions were held to focus on specific activities that Task Teams will continue to work on throughout the year. 

A discussion was held on the progress achieved with the development of the Fostering Change Guide and next steps required to support its effective dissemination by MSH. A skills building workshop using this Guide was conducted as part of the Global Health Conference and partners discussed opportunities for tagging on workshops to meetings and workshops they will be holding. 

ESD introduced the progress they had achieved in the preparation for the Scaling-up Best Practice meeting due to be held in Bangkok, September 2007.

INFO and the IBP Secretariat reviewed the outcome of our collaborative activities to support the IBP Knowledge Gateway and our program of activities. 

The IBP Secretariat led a discussion on a review of workplan activities and partners undertook several small working group sessions to discuss and recommend next steps on: a) Partner Assessment; b) Pre-Service Training; c) Documentation of practices that make programs work, d) PAC West Africa; and e) Disability convention. The outcome of these discussions was used as a basis for supporting activities undertaken by members of the IBP Consortium throughout the year.  

Dr. Solomon Marsden representing the APHIA II Eastern Project led by Family Health International (FHI) attended the IBP Consortium meeting and presented the IBP Kenya Experience on behalf of all partners including the Ministry of Health, Kenya, JSI, Jhpiego, IntraHealth, USAID and JICA. The next phase of collaborative activities to support the scaling-up of best practices was discussed.

Ethiopia Video Conference

The Ethiopia team, including Dr. Abonesh Hailemariam (WHO/Ethiopia) and colleagues from the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia, the Extension Worker Project and IntraHealth joined the IBP Consortium meeting through a video conference link. The purpose of this discussion was to review IBP activities in Ethiopia and discuss how IBP is supporting the identification and scaling up of effective practices within their regions. The challenges, successes and lessons learned were highlighted through a moderated discussion. The Ethiopia team noted that the work that the IBP team is doing in Ethiopia can be used to promote integration and partnership at the community level and to support the Health Extension program. Continued support was requested and partners made a commitment to provide this.

Technical update sessions

Brief technical update sessions were provided by:

Julie Samuelson, WHO/RHR on the Global Strategy for STI prevention. Partners were reminded of the global burden of disease and asked to look for opportunities to include strategies to manage and prevent STIs in their projects and programmes. 

FHI on activities in Nigeria and Tanzania which are being undertaken in close collaboration with the WHO/UNFPA Strategic Partnership Program.

Population Council on activities led by the Ministry of Health, Zambia supported by the partnership to scale-up effective family planning programmes.   

The IBP Secretariat on the WHO/UNFPA/PATH reproductive health essential medicines project. All partners were asked to brief their own organizations on the importance of including access to essential medicines and commodities as key components of all projects and programmes.

NFO and the IBP Secretariat on the extensive programme of work that has been undertaken to improve access to information and promote collaborative learning through the IBP Knowledge Gateway.

ExpandNet on ExpandNet network activities and products related to scaling up.

The IBP Secretariat on Linking with WHO: Francophone Efforts RAFT, SPP and RAP meeting for AFRO and EMRO. RAFT (Réseau en Afrique Francophone pour la Télémédecine) offers distance learning sessions for Francophone Africa in conjunction with the Geneva University Hospital. There is an ongoing a series on reproductive health sessions and several partners are planning to conduct sessions.

The IBP Secretariat on the Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) is a collaborative program with WHO and UNFPA to adapt WHO reproductive health guidelines for use in countries. To date Francophone activities have focused on Benin and Cameroon. An upcoming workshop in Benin will include DRC, Mali, Niger, Ivory Coast and CAR. Coordination with IBP and other partners is essential since many programs already have the updating of policies and standards in their scopes of work.

The IBP Secretariat on WHO's RH Regional Advisory Meeting for AFRO and EMRO, (RAP) held in Dakar, November 2007. The agenda was research-focused but IBP's ideas and principles were presented. Small working group sessions were held to discuss activities and plan next steps.

The recommendations made during the plenary feedback session feed into and support the IBP annual program of work.

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