We have just undergone a strategic planning process to develop a new road map. This was needed not only to bridge the gaps from the implementation of the 2005-2009 plan, but also to ensure that IPPF Africa Region redefines itself and its focus. We renewed our commitment to big lines in the 2005-2015 strategic framework of the federation. This plan is the result of a lengthy process of extensive consultation with our partners and stakeholders at many levels.
We Started Early
IPPFAR started the process of redefining its strategic direction with the midterm review of its 2005—2009 Strategic Plan in 2007. The successes, the gaps in implementation and the lessons learnt from the midterm review became the starting point for the development of a new strategic plan. The midterm review identified critical issues for the new strategic direction of IPPFAR; these include improving communication within the region, enhancing inter Association technical assistance, reviewing the “rules of engagement” between the regional office and the Member Associations, mainstreaming gender and rights, and strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity in the region.
At the Africa Regional Office (ARO), several processes were organized in house, including the Staff Retreat of June 2009 and inter/intra departmental meetings in October 2009, which all examined the context of the Region and reflected on possible priority areas for the next five years. Among the key recommendations arising from these internal processes was to redefine the functions and organization structure of the Regional Office so as to provide technical assistance to Member Associations more effectively.
We Consulted Widely
During 2009 IPPFAR also engaged in the Federation-wide midterm review of IPPF’s 2005—2015 strategic framework. The whole Region reflected on the achievements, challenges and opportunities in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights work in the region. This review produced seven critical issues that all regions of IPPF needed to focus on during the next five years. The issues included focusing more intensively on vulnerable groups particularly young people, making IPPF’s governance more effective and enhancing the organizational capacity of all entities. Others were strengthening advocacy and communication capabilities, developing and nurturing a performance culture, building capacity, and mobilizing resources.
In addition to these processes, some Member Associations provided their perceptions and views to enrich the strategic planning process. The Member Associations specifically consulted were Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria and Swaziland, as they were also engaged in reviewing their strategic plans around the same period. The exchange of views ensured that the strategic plan captured from country-level the most salient sexual and reproductive health and rights challenges that the region is facing and the opportunities that are available. There were also consultations with the global technical leads in IPPF for all Five ‘A’s, as well as well as feedback from the IPPF donor stakeholder conferences.
To further strengthen the consultative approach to developing the new IPPFAR strategic plan, a consultative meeting was held with partners from public and private sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs), international agencies, and religious groups in September 2009. During this meeting, experts shared their critical thoughts based on their different experiences. They posed important questions to IPPFAR and made a number of recommendations for the 2010—2015 strategic plan. Among others, the meeting suggested that a focus of the plan should be the identification and empowerment of the next generation of sexual and reproductive health and rights leaders and champions in Africa, as well as strengthening IPPFAR’s communication strategy, media engagement and technologies to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights messages are being passed on to the right audiences.
We Synthesized Carefully
These strategic planning processes culminated in a regional strategic planning workshop in December 2009, where IPPFAR’s Board, staff members from both the Regional Office and Member Associations, and young people from the Youth Action Movement participated. All the recommendations and findings from the various reviews and reflections were analysed and reviewed to define the objectives and strategies for the Africa region, which then formed the basis for the 2010—2015 Strategic Plan.
As the IPPF Africa Region, we will collectively realize the strategic objectives set out in this Plan by:
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