From 12 original members the partnership has grown to 37 members in 2012. IBP partners also work in collaboration with many local and international agencies, organizations and networks at the regional and country levels in the implementation of programme activities.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the IBP Initiative, IBP partners responded to questions from the IBP Secretariat: “What have been your most important contributions to the IBP Initiative?” and “How has your organization benefited from participation in the IBP Initiative?” Excerpts from the partners’ answers appear below.
Globally, we have benefited enormously in terms of knowledge exchange from the IBP network and regular meetings, and from the Knowledge Gateway and its various communities.
EngenderHealth was actively engaged in planning and conducting the IBP meetings in Egypt, India and Uganda and in supporting country teams in carrying out their action plans. We were also an active partner in developing the Fostering Change Guide and providing technical support in rolling it out.
In Ethiopia, we were active partners in the documentation of best practices and in planning and conducting a national stakeholders’ consultative meeting, Implementing Best Practices to Support National Reproductive Health Goals (April 2006), to discuss the preliminary DHS findings and proven/promising RH practices.
At the country level, IBP-supported country action plans advanced our work in Ethiopia, Jordan, India and Kenya.
Extending Service Delivery Project (ESD)
As the lead partner in the Extending Service Delivery (ESD) Project, which focuses on the identification and dissemination of best practices in reproductive health, Pathfinder is especially positioned to appreciate IBP’s important role in proactively disseminating knowledge, tools, and information to professionals in reproductive health at every level around the world. From their highly useful Knowledge Gateway to their conferences, tools, reports, and other publications, the IBP Initiative has made enormous contributions to advancing access to quality reproductive health care in developing countries around the world.
A pioneer in promoting evidence-based practices, the IBP Initiative has been instrumental in improving reproductive health around the world.
FHI’s participation as an IBP Initiative partner has contributed to many important achievements. We promoted critical global family planning standards, such as the WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria, and helped various countries update their family planning guidelines based on these standards. We identified and promoted local evidence-based practices to strengthen family planning programs in Kenya. And we helped make the 2009 International Conference on Family Planning in Kampala the resounding success that it was.
These and many other accomplishments would not have been possible without the strong partnerships and commitment to quality that IBP has championed over the past 10 years.
Jhpiego is proud to have been a founding member of the IBP Initiative. All of us at Jhpiego have benefited from the collaborative “power of partnerships” that the IBP Initiative has harnessed.
In 1999 initial meetings were held in Baltimore to discuss the formation of the Initiative with Maggie Usher-Patel. Since that time Jhpiego staff members have been active participants in every IBP regional and country launch meeting, and helped spearhead the “Technology Café” at all of these meetings. We are also proud to have developed a number of “Communities of Practice” on the IBP Knowledge Gateway and have led numerous online global forums on topics such as postpartum family planning and pre-service education.
The IBP Initiative has been introduced in a number of our field offices, and our work in Kenya on IBP with the Division of Reproductive Health led to a significant increase in contraceptive prevalence in a number of districts.
Our role in chairing the Initiative has been a rewarding one, and we look forward to working with this important initiative for years to come.
Congratulations to WHO, USAID and IBP for a great ten years.
John Snow, Inc.
Through the IBP, JSI and the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT have been able to collaborate with partners on programmatic and technical activities. Through these partnerships, we have been able to leverage our respective core competencies and harmonize our efforts. We have been able to participate in IBP-hosted events at the global, regional and country level to learn and contribute best practices in reproductive health.
In particular, since 2001, the IBP community has helped us to broaden understanding and appreciation of the importance of supply chain management in achieving public health objectives. Our tag line, “No product, no program,” is widely accepted now, and contraceptive (or reproductive health commodity) security has become an organizing framework for many of us working together for reproductive health from the perspectives of service delivery, policy, advocacy, logistics, and research.
IBP and IBP partners have been instrumental is expanding the reach of those messages. Through the IBP Knowledge Gateway, we have been able to launch and support a community of practice—the International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL).
The IAPHL is a community of practice dedicated to facilitating the exchange of professional experiences and innovations in the areas of public health logistics management and commodity security, supporting continued learning, sharing tools and resources, promoting the use of local and regional expertise, and expanding members’ professional network.
This community has nearly 500 members from 73 countries. What has been very useful for many of us in general is the participation in different on-line global discussion forums through the different communities of the IBP Knowledge Gateway. Most JSI colleagues consider these communities a great source of information.
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health / Center for Communications Programs
Several CCP staff members worked closely with IBP Secretariat on developing the requirements for the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Knowledge Gateway and then pretesting early versions of the Knowledge Gateway. In collaboration with the IBP Secretariat, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, (WHO/RHR), CCP continues to manage the IBP Knowledge Gateway, including training new users on the platform and informing the Knowledge Gateway members about new publications, announcements, and events related to reproductive health.
The development of the Knowledge Gateway platform has enabled rapid large-scale information exchange and transfer within the reproductive health community that was not previously possible.
Given its common goals with IBP, CCP’s global and country projects benefitted from IBP’s pioneering work in information exchange through dynamic on-line networks, which often focused on issues and technical advancements that contributed to shared objectives to improve reproductive health in developing countries.
CCP also gained expertise and built capacity internally through working with IBP on a wide range of information-sharing challenges. Working together to improve access to reproductive health through the introduction, adaptation, implementation and scaling-up of best practices has limited duplication of effort among partner organizations and has resulted in greater achievements.
Management Sciences for Health
The Virtual Fostering Change Program has allowed the IBP to reach more health professionals and provide technical assistance in introducing and scaling up change through the participation of member organizations as facilitators and technical experts. The teams in these programs have achieved results.
The team from the Togo Ministry of Health is training health providers in delivering PAC services as well as family planning and reorganizing services in order to make contraceptives and counselling available in the PAC rooms.
The Prince Faisal Hospital team from Jordan is testing, counselling and treating pregnant women with anaemia in their community. They have also integrated the Fostering Change methodology into the courses that team members teach at the local nursing/midwifery college.
As a founding member of the IBP Initiative, Pathfinder International is especially inspired to salute the significant contributions of this partnership on its tenth anniversary.
It is impossible to separate Pathfinder's contributions over the last decade from the knowledge, learning and collaborative strength we have aquired in making them.
For example, during the IBP meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, in 2004, the Ethiopia team developed an action plan to incorporate family planning into HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and prevention of mother to-child transmission (PMTCT) services throughout the country.
Pathfinder’s Ethiopia office and 25 Ethiopian organizations were inspired to establish their own IBP Steering Committee. Drawing on structures and processes from the Initiative, they launched a strategy for integration in seven regions of the country. This was followed by Pathfinder’s implementation of an IBP Plus project to conduct research on the integration effort in 12 facilities, seeking lessons learned and focusing on best practices.
During the Uganda meeting, the Ethiopia team recognized that their country did have many “best practices”. These had not been documented, however, and were not being shared throughout the country. After the conference the Ethiopia IBP team asked their partners throughout the country to collect reproductive health “best practices”. With support from the IBP secretariat, these have been analysed, documented and in 2006 published under the title "Documenting Reproductive Health Practice in Ethiopia".
Later, the local IBP team introduced the fostering change framework to help with scaling up the documented practices. The process and lessons learned from activities have served as a basis for the IBP’s work in other countries on identifying, documenting, sharing and scaling up effective local practices.
In 2002, an initiative of international and national partners including Population Council and WHO initiated a Post Abortion Care (PAC) Initiative for Francophone Africa to increase access and quality to PAC services in this West African region. As programs were replicated in the following years, dissemination of materials and information was noted as a main challenge.
In response, IBP served as an ideal forum to share scientific evidence, standardized guidelines and best practices between Initiative members.
IBP’s role in the PAC Initiative for Francophone Africa was pertinent to the success of this regional commitment to PAC services. IBP allowed communication and exchange of best practices between colleagues and organizations working on similar issues and overcoming similar challenges.
This network also reinforced the collaborative regional effort the Initiative intended.
- Support for IBP Secretariat based at WHO/RHR in Geneva.
- Support for the development of the Four Cornerstones of Family Planning and in particular for the development, printing, and distribution of the Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers.
- Support for IBP Launch events, for example in India and Uganda, both directly and through the work of USAID’s many partner organizations.
- Support for USAID partners to engage in IBP activities, for example serving as IBP Chair, developing and implementing the “Fostering Change” guide, developing and managing the IBP Knowledge Gateway, and supporting the development of the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit.
- USAID support for important research on topics such as, healthy timing and spacing or community based distribution of injectable contraceptives has provided areas for collaboration among IBP partners.
How USAID has benefited:
- The IBP partnership has helped in streamlining assistance and encouraging collaboration among USAID partner organizations via the IBP partnership.
- IBP launch meetings have served as a model for USAID to organize similar meetings with its field staff and partners (for example, a recent Rwanda regional meeting was organized as a follow-up to the Kampala, Uganda meeting and Bangkok regional meetings organized by the Extending Service Delivery Project).
- Participation in IBP and working closely with WHO has given USAID more credibility as a research organization.
- IBP has provided a platform for promoting and advancing Global Health technical priorities that directly link to maternal-child health and child survival, such as healthy timing and spacing, comprehensive post-abortion care, and Injectables/Uniject.
- IBP has provided a vehicle for better collaboration between USAID, WHO and other partners and helped to harmonize approaches