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Domestic Resource Allocation Said to Be Crucial to Achieve FP 2020 Goals

Participants of the high level meeting

Participants of a high level meeting on stock taking and acceleration towards FP 2020 goals underlined the need for domestic resource allocation for family planning (FP) to achieve FP 2020 goals. The meeting was held on June 29, 2017 in Addis Ababa.

In his key note speech, CCRDA Executive Director, Dr. Meshesha Shewarega, said the government needs to give priority to domestic financing of FP services. The Executive Director said, “Only two countries are committed to provide 67% of the funds needed for the realization of FP 2020 goals. And only three countries out of the 69 that are working to achieve FP 2020 goals provided 79% of the resource needed to realize FP 2020 goals. According to the CCRDA Executive Director, the fact that 68 countries are competing with Ethiopia for the meager resources, shows the fierce competition to get foreign resources. He said the budget reduction trend from four major donor countries is a clarion call to focus and aggressively engage in domestic resource mobilization.

CCRDA Executive Director Dr. Meshesha Shewarega while making his speech

Jyoti Tewari, DFID, Health, Population and Nutrition Partners Co-Chair also underscored the importance of domestic financing of FP. Currently partners spend around 50 million US dollar per year on family planning, but to meet all the unmet need, at least 80 million US dollar is needed per year, he said. Mr Tewari further said, “A few partners and global initiatives, including GFF, She Decides and the UK, are planning additional investment in family planning, and some on-going funding appears uncertain.”

Another participant recalled that after the London Summit, in July 2012, the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, and Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, had issued a publication in which they wrote that if Africa had to develop, there should be family planning service. They also underlined the need to domestically finance FP, the participant said. Africa should have allocated more budget since then, but it is only now, when foreign donors reduced their financial support that the importance of domestic resource mobilization is being raised, he noted. Women who don’t want to give birth have to get the service, he underlined.

The Way Forward

At the conclusion of the high level meeting on FP 2020 Goals, CCRDA Executive Director, Dr Meshesha Shewarega, said there are three important areas and six enablers to be mentioned as way forward.

Listing the three important areas Dr Meshesha said, first, based on the discussion and presentations at the meeting, it was understood that FP coverage in some regions, particularly in Afar and Somali are very low. As a way forward, Dr Meshesha said FP service has to be expanded in the regions where the FP service coverage is low. And there is a need for FP scale up initiative giving special attention to the youth.

The second most important point raised by various participants was the need for sustainable financing of FP. Dr Meshesha summarized the discussion points and underscored the need for domestic resource mobilization in addition to the foreign fund received from donors.

The third most important issue of concern is FP commodity security. Dr Meshesha put as a way forward the need to tackle the problem of supply chain of FP commodities.

As enablers, based on the discussion and presentations of the meeting, Dr Meshesha said awareness creation is very important both at the Federal and regional level for the realization of FP 2020. And he underlined the need for CSOs to work hand in hand with the government.

He further said there should be joint involvement of MPs, CORHA, CCRDA so that all closely follow up of FP 2020.  He mentioned as advantages the presence of FP 2020 Goals as a reference point and also the presence of FP focal person at Federal Ministry of Health.

The CCRDA Executive Director further noted that there should be regular evaluation of FP 2020, annual review mechanism of FP 2020 both at federal and regional levels.

CSOs Contribution to Family Planning in Ethiopia

Also during the high level meeting, Executive Director of Consortium of Reproductive Health Associations (CORHA), Abebe Kebede said CSOs contribution for FP and RH is more than half a century old.

He recalled that FP program was initiated in Ethiopia by Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) in 1966. FP service integrated as part of Maternal and Child Health in public health system only in 1980; and since then the conducive policy environment encouraged establishment of CSOs working on FP/RH. Following this population policy, and health policy were issued in 1993, Abebe said. He further said that the establishment of consortiums on Family Planning/Reproductive Health (FP/RH), such as CORHA, were aimed at boosting CSOs contribution to FP by strengthening their capacity.

The Executive Director said CSOs made contributions to FP in technical (in the development of national policies, strategies and guidelines), programmatic (facility improvement support and capacity building for public health facilities), supplies and infrastructural (FP and infection prevention commodities), demand creation (increasing awareness of the public about FP) and service delivery (targeted interventions to reach under-served population groups) areas.

 

Prime Minster Hailemariam Expresses His Government’s Willingness to Revisit CSO Law

Representatives of CSOs discussing with the Prime Minister

Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegne expressed government’s willingness to revisit CSO law.

The Prime Minster met with Representatives of CSOs and held discussions with them on April 13, 2017 at his office. During the discussion, the CSO representatives presented a fourteen pages proposal for the amendment of Ethiopian Charities and Societies Law number 621/2009 and improve its implementation.

Prime Minster Hailemariam stressed on the occasion that the government strongly believes that citizens should actively participate in the democratization process through CSOs. He further noted that the government will further continue discussing with CSOs through its Center for Democracy.

The proposal by CSOs underlined the need to establish and strengthen CSOs that would contribute for increasing public participation in the effort to build a democratic system in the country. It also mentions that as stated in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) the government believes in CSOs involvement in development activities and in the role they play in monitoring and evaluation of development. The representatives said there had not been CSO law and appreciated the government for introducing the charities and societies law in 2009. They said it is now high time to see the impact the law made in the past eight years. They noted that several researches were conducted on the law which indicated the loopholes in it. And various stakeholders complained that the law and the regulations and directives issued following it, have posed serious challenges on CSOs by limiting their programmatic and operative space. Moreover, coupled with other non-legal factors, they resulted in the weakening and shrinking of the CSO sector.

The representatives of CSOs that met with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

The fact that CSOs, particularly those categorized by the law as Ethiopian Charities and Mass-based Societies, are forbidden not to mobilize more than 10% of their budget from foreign sources has seriously affected citizens right to be organized under them, the representatives underlined.

The 14 pages proposal also raised issues relevant to implementation of the law.

The CSO representatives further asked Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn to meet with them twice a year and discuss issues that concern CSOs, and he agreed.

 

CCRDA Holds Its 245th Members’ General Assembly

Participants of the General Assembly

CCRDA held its 245th Members’ General Assembly on March 30, 2017.

While updating members on current CSOs/NGOs operating scene, CCRDA Executive Director, Dr Meshesha Shewarega, told the participants the decision by the government to review the charities and societies proclamation by assessing the key challenges related to its implementation and contents. He said a taskforce has been established which is led by the State Minister of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Pastoralist Development. Based on the request of the Ministry, CCRDA and other consortiums have given their comments on the proclamation. CCRDA on its part has given ten pages of comments on the proclamations and various guidelines that its members want to be revisited, Dr Meshesha said. He further noted that the final report has been submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and CCRDA and other consortiums are waiting for the final outcome.

Dr Meshesha Shewarega presenting the 2016 CCRDA Annual Report

While presenting the 2016 CCRDA Annual Report, Dr Meshesha said CCRDA managed to raise more than birr 101,346,269 in 2016; its total asset in the past year was 111,188,466. It channeled more than 80%, 81,077,015 birr, to members. He told the participants of the meeting that the Secretariat managed to implement nearly 85% of what it had planned.

 

While listing the major achievements of the Consortium in 2016, he said, “A Code of conduct was signed by many member organizations and the CCRDA Ethics Panel was established. Regional Chapters became operational resulting in more ownership members. A five years Leadership Development Program was launched. The Post Graduate Diploma was upgraded to MA program in collaboration with Ambo University. More than 90 organizations received institutional strengthening support, a weekly Begonet Radio program was launched to promote the good practices of members of CCRDA; and UKAID/RIF was launched.”

 

HaddisTadesse, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Deputy Director for Africa and Country Representative for Ethiopia and the African Union, was invited at the Membership General Assembly to talk about the foundation. During his presentation Haddis told the participants that the BMGF was founded in 2000, but the family had started supporting Ethiopia since 1998, even before the establishment of their foundation. Since then the BMGF has invested 500 million US dollars in Ethiopia. Haddis noted that the foundation mainly worked in the areas of agriculture, private sector, health, nutrition and livestock. He said four of the elven pillars of GTP II have clear alignment with the foundation’s work. He said in Ethiopia BMGF mainly works with government institutions. It is figuring out with CCRDA to see how to work with local NGOs, he added.

HaddisTadesse, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Deputy Director for
Africa and Country Representative for Ethiopia and the African Union

A participant asked what the criteria of BMGF are for selecting an organization to work with. Haddis Tadesse answered, “We start looking into a problem and its scope and we look for organizations that can address the problem. We consult a lot of people before we do what we do. We tend to gravitate to bigger organizations. But we know there are some things that we miss working only with bigger organizations.” He said the foundation looks into capabilities of an organization before it decides to fund them.

 

During the meeting, the participants elected the next CCRDA Board members. They elected Rahel Gebremariam, Dr Mulugeta Debebe, Ephrem Tesgay, Melaku Sibhat and Mekdes Alemu as the next CCRDA Board members.

Partial View of the participants of the General Assembly

In his closing remark, Chairperson of Membership Assembly of CCRDA, Ato Feyera Abdi, congratulated CCRDA for its tremendous achievement in 2016. He underscored that the Consortium’s performance is consistently moving well and the resource generated is impressive given the current difficult financial terrain. He also appreciated the CCRDA Executive Director for his leadership and brining the organization out of its financial crisis and repositioning along such positive course.

 



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