At the IBP Africa launch partners were introduced to the WHO/UNFPA Strategic Partnership Program (SPP). The purpose of this programme is to promote the introduction and adaptation of guidelines from WHO’s Departments of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO/RHR) and Making Pregnancy Safer (WHO/MPS) through enhanced linkages with in-country and regional UNFPA teams. The SPP and the IBP are complementary—while the SPP focuses on introducing the guidelines at the regional and national levels, the IBP partners have the mandate to take guidelines into the field and can ensure follow-up.
The SPP workshop for Africa, held in Tanzania, September 2004 and involving representatives from Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa, was planned to capitalize on the IBP Launch in Uganda with the same countries attending the meeting to discuss the adaptation of guidelines. Support to the SPP programme continued for the next four years, with regional workshops held in all regions of the world. Follow-up activities supported by IBP partners have been undertaken in a number of countries such as Benin, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Between 2005 – 2007 the IBP Secretariat and partners worked closely with the WHO-UNFPA Strategic Partnership Programme to enhance the use of evidence-based guidelines and tools produced by WHO/RHR in family planning, maternal and neonatal health and STI prevent and care. Follow-up activities to IBP meetings have been undertaken Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and India. IBP members have also supported SPP activities in Benin, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan. In Benin, the country team is planning to adapt the Ethiopia experience of documenting and sharing "practices that make programs work" in 2007.
IBP partners also supported an IBP/SPP regional meeting in Ethiopia in 2006. This meeting engaged representatives from seven countries in a review of progress and sharing of lessons learned.
In 2008 the IBP partners were very active in regional SPP meetings, having attended and presented at the July, 2008 Zambia meeting for (Botswana, Angola and Malawi, Namibia ) , the South East Asia Meeting in September, 2008 for 10 countries and the Abuja meeting for an additional 5 countries (Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia) at the end of October, 2008.