Membership and Operating Guidelines


IBP Secretariat - Roles and Responsibilities

The World Health Organization, through the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO/RHR), will provide the IBP Initiative with Secretariat services.   WHO/RHR will support the IBP Initiative through the assignment of a full-time senior professional officer and administrative support staff.  USAID through the Population Leadership Programme, Public Health Institute will provide a senior fellow to work with the WHO/RHR Secretariat.  


Role of the IBP Secretariat:


  • Act as representative for the IBP Initiative at the international and governmental level, with bilateral and multilateral donors, aid agencies and the media, as appropriate
  • Act as a clearinghouse for inquiries about the IBP Initiative/Initiative and requests for assistance from IBP Initiative members, regions and countries, as appropriate


  • Identify, negotiate and support the introduction of new members to the IBP Initiative in collaboration with the IBP Chair
  • Coordinate the development of the IBP Program of Work in collaboration with the IBP Chair and members of the IBP Steering Committee and IBP Initiative
  • Follow up on decisions taken during IBP Initiative meetings, with assistance from the IBP Chair and members of the IBP Steering Committee and IBP Initiative
  • Identify prospective sources of funding, prepare fundraising proposals, and establish transparent systems of financial management for IBP Initiative activities in collaboration with the IBP Chair
  • Support the establishment of Task Teams and assist in formulating their scope of work and defining their specified outcome
  • Follow up requests for support from regions and countries and present these requests to the IBP Initiative Committee when relevant to IBP goals and activities
  • Investigate avenues where the IBP Initiative could expand to reach new audiences
  • Together with the IBP Chair address IBP Initiative membership issues
  • Function as ombudsman for concerns raised on the part of any individual or organization in the Initiative and assist in the resolution of any disagreements among Initiative members


  • Work proactively to identify important challenges and opportunities for the IBP Initiative and facilitate efforts to move the Initiative towards its vision and goals
  • Monitor the implementation of the IBP Strategy and, in cooperation with the IBP Initiative members, review progress on strategy and program of work on a regular basis
  • Identify opportunities for providing technical leadership through IBP Initiative members on issues of high priority and emerging issues in reproductive health, particularly family planning, maternal and neonatal health, adolescent reproductive health, increased gender equity and the integration of STI/HIV prevention and care
  • Work in collaboration with partners to undertake specific time-bound activities identified in the programme of work and monitor and follow-up the timely performance of IBP-related assignments undertaken by member organizations
  • Assist partners and member organizations with the identification of evidence-based and proven effective practices, materials and tools for dissemination
  • Support the development and implementation of a programme of work that enhances the use and further development of the IBP Knowledge Gateway
  • Support the development and implementation of knowledge management and knowledge-sharing activities within the partnership and their country projects and programmes
  • At the country level, encourage IBP Initiative partners and affiliated partners to support the ministry of health, promote the sharing of information and tools and facilitate collaboration with each other and other in-country organizations and agencies working on reproductive health issues
  • Facilitate communication among IBP Initiative members, partners and country teams and assist with the dissemination and exchange of information
  • Support the further development and expanded use of the IBP/ECS Knowledge Gateway, Communities of Practice and other knowledge management strategies


  • Work with the IBP Chair to organize and prepare the agenda and associated documentation for the IBP Initiative Committee and IBP Steering Committee meetings, and assist with the preparation and distribution of meeting minutes
  • Serve as central coordinator for IBP regional and country meetings and activities


  • Prepare in collaboration with the IBP Chair an annual report summarizing the activities of the IBP Initiative and publish for distribution to IBP Heads of Agencies and other relevant bodies


IBP Steering Committee - Roles and Responsibilities

The IBP Steering Committee currently consists of all founding members of the IBP Initiative. Each founding member will nominate one senior staff member to this committee, with a designated alternate. This person may be the same person who is appointed as representative on the IBP Initiative Committee. 

Each year up to three additional members can either volunteer or be nominated by IBP Partners to become members of the IBP Steering Committee for a maximum of two years.  

At the end of that time, they will either rotate off the Steering Committee or be re-nominated to serve.  The Chair will request IBP Partners to nominate themselves and/or other partners to become members of the IBP Steering Committee. The Chair will ask partners to select new members through a ballot, if more than three members are nominated. 

Role of the IBP Steering Committee:

  • Proactively provide strategic direction and counsel to the IBP Chair and Secretariat
  • Work electronically as a team and meet as necessary to discuss progress with implementing the IBP strategy and program of work 
  • Act as advocates for the IBP Initiative in the international arena, both at the global and country level
  • Review and approve the annual program of work to ensure that activities are in line with the IBP vision and goals
  • Review and approve issues of governance and operating guidelines
  • Take a leadership role in activities identified from the IBP annual programme of work
  • Serve as the decision-making body for IBP membership applications
  • Review, discuss and provide input on funding proposals


IBP Task Team - Roles and Responsibilities

A Task Team is formed to undertake a specific, often time-bound activity that will contribute to achieving the IBP program of work, to act as a "think tank," and/or to undertake country-based activities. 

Any IBP Partner or Affiliated Partner who is interested and has experience and expertise in a specific area of work can choose to lead and/or participate in a Task Team. 

Task Teams are expected to formulate their own scope of work, function on a cost-sharing basis and complete their assignment within a specified time-frame.  

Role of the IBP Task Teams:

  • Nominate a team leader who will communicate with members of the Task Team on a regular basis either electronically or through telecommunication. If necessary and feasible, a Task Team will organize a face-to-face meeting and/or video conference
  • Undertake specific time-bound assignments that contribute to achieving the activities detailed in the IBP program of work and commit to completing the assignments within a specified time-frame
  • Formulate in collaboration with team members and IBP Secretariat a scope of work that specifies the activities the team will undertake, expected outcome and estimate the resources (human, time and financial) required to complete the task
  • Report on the progress of projects and activities to the IBP Secretariat and the IBP Chair on a regular basis, through their team leader
  • Commit time within their own program of work for Task Team activities


Non-functioning Members

Leaving the Initiative and consensus building and resolution of disputes 

IBP Partners that fail to participate in IBP Initiative Committee meetings and/or country-specific activities on at least four occasions will be contacted by the IBP Secretariat to determine if the member has a specific constraint that limits their participation. 

Depending on the outcome of these discussions, the agency will be asked either to re-energize its commitment or reconsider whether continued membership as a Partner is appropriate. The IBP Partner will be asked if they wish to either become an Affiliated Partner or withdraw from the partnership.

Leaving the IBP Initative

If a member of the IBP Initiative chooses not to continue their membership, they may leave the partnership and terminate their membership under the following procedures:

  • If a member of the IBP Initiative chooses not to continue their membership, they are requested to provide the IBP Secretariat with a letter stating why they wish to leave the IBP Initiative.
  • The IBP Secretariat will inform members of the IBP Initiative Committee about the member’s desire to leave the partnership.
  • Members leaving the IBP Initiative are requested to provide at least three months notice in writing to the IBP Secretariat and complete the commitments they have made to the IBP Initiative.
Consensus-building and resolution of disputes
  • Whenever possible, the IBP Initiative Committee, IBP Steering Committee, Task Teams and Country Teams will work on the principle of consensus-building, compromise and conflict resolution. When necessary the IBP Partner providing IBP Secretariat services will act as arbitrator in all disputes.
  • If this fails to resolve the dispute, the matter will be referred to the IBP Chair and the Steering Committee. The IBP Secretariat will present the facts and all parties will attempt to resolve the dispute.
  • If this fails to resolve the dispute the matter will be dealt with as detailed in the MOU.