Sexual and reproductive health

International Conference on Family Planning

12-15 November 2013 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Image of the official web site
THEME OF THIS YEAR: “Full Access, Full Choice.”

The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research will be participating in many conference activities and side events. Led by the director, Dr. Marleen Temmerman, the group will be highlighting the department’s work on research, guidelines, partnerships, scaling up and advocacy on issues related to contraception.

On its third edition, the bi-annual International Conference on Family Planning is expected to bring around 3000 policy makers, programme managers, health providers, researchers, and advocates on contraception, to discuss new issues and programmes to contribute to the fulfillment of the goal of universal access to reproductive health services, and to reduce the unmet need for family planning.

Key presentations involving WHO staff:

Exhibition stand : Tent 4 Booth 32

Materials from WHO HQ, AFRO, and national offices will be displayed and distributed.

  • Dr. Marleen Temmerman will address Ministers of Health, Finance, Gender and Youth as a panelist during the Third Session on the topic “The Way Forward: Partnerships & Policy Actions for Health, Wealth & Equity” during the high-level ministerial meeting (HLMM) on 12 November with the theme of “The Youth Dividend: Return on Investment in Family Planning.”
  • Dr. Marleen Temmerman will participate in a Pre-Conference Session with Young People Panel on “Pathways to Leadership”, with UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Ostimehin and heads of 2 NGOs on 11 November.
  • Dr. Marleen Temmerman will chair and moderate the Plenary panel on 13 November on “Achieving Equity through Women in Leadership”, which includes a talk by UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, the Right Honorable Lynne Featherstone MP, then a panel discussion by First Lady of Ethiopia, Roman Tesfaye; Congresswoman and co-author of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines and now Under-Secretary of Health, Janet Garin; the CEO of the Packard Foundation, Carol Larson; the CEO of African Women Development Fund, Theo Sowa; and the Director of the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Ellen Starbird.
  • Two important WHO documents will be highlighted during the conference:
    • The World Health Organization’s recommendations in the new guideline “Optimizing health worker roles to improve access to key maternal and newborn health interventions through task shifting” aim to help address critical health workforce shortages that slow down progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals. This will be presented in an evening side event on 14 November at the African Union Center. A more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers can significantly improve both access and cost-effectiveness – for example by training and enabling ‘mid-level’ and ‘lay’ health workers to perform specific interventions otherwise provided only by cadres with longer (and sometimes more specialized) training. This is organized by WHO and Marie Stopes International.
    • WHO-UNFPA-USAID Programming Strategies for Postpartum Family Planning. Since 2010, a group of global health partners have worked together to review the literature and explore program models for the implementation of postpartum family planning. Sixteen organizations, including global health leaders have signed on to the Statement of Collective Action for Postpartum Family Planning, released on the occasion of the Family Planning Summit in London. This panel reflects on the progress made and offers to present the Statement for Collective Action which reflects a consensus statement regarding the importance of reaching postpartum women to avert maternal, newborn, infant and child deaths and reach FP2020 goals of adding 120 million users of family planning.
  • Presentations by other members of the RHR staff will be on updates on the new tools on the family planning guidelines, developments on the work on Multi-Purpose Prevention Technologies (MPPT), models of integration of FP and HIV services, a framework for understanding very young adolescent sexual and reproductive health globally, a cartography of controversies on family planning, the role of mHealth in family planning service delivery, and programme descriptions on improving access to emergency contraception.
  • The Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative will host a track of eight interactive sessions to provide an overview of evidence based practices that address common challenges in FP programming, share examples of scale up attempts at a country level, and highlight the role of partnerships to support scale up efforts. More action is needed to scale up practices that can expand access to family planning services for everyone who needs them. Tools and resources which assist in implementation of practices at the country level will be shared and discussed. IBP members from regional and country level counterparts will be present in all sessions, bringing a field perspective to the deliberations. Recognizing the rich experiences of all participants, the sessions will enable the sharing of lessons learned on using practical, tested programmatic tools and approaches to address ways to take knowledge and experience to action. WHO RHR is the secretariat for the IBP Initiative.
  • IBP has also organized 20 small group capacity building and discussion groups on various topics related to its mandate of improving the quality and access of RH services through improved partnership and systematic scale up of effective practices.


The Conference is co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University and the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, with active support from UNFPA, USAID, WHO, DFID, the Gates, Packard, UN and Hewlett foundations and more than 30 other organizations.