The letter showcases progress on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - which set targets in key development areas, including maternal health – and includes examples from the last year where measurement is making a difference.
For the first time, the letter includes a selection of submissions from the public to the foundation’s My Hope for 2030 Facebook campaign. Users were invited to share their hopes for global development by 2030 and thoughts on what goals should be set to continue to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.
We welcome the foundation’s focus on the role of measurement in improving delivery. We’re particularly pleased to see Melinda Gates’ continued leadership in expanding access to contraception around the world, following a landmark year for the family planning movement.
Melinda Gates: "access to contraceptives matters"
Included in this year’s letter is an entry from Melinda Gates. She looks back at the achievements of the London Summit on Family Planning in June 2012 and highlights how access to contraceptives goes hand-in-hand with improvements in health, prosperity, and quality of life.
Melinda maintains the focus on results, describing how measuring impact can lead to advancements in the ways health systems meet populations’ needs.
Senegal is one impressive example. An important part of their plan is to improve their contraceptive supply chain, and they’re basing changes on a model that was pilot tested last year. The results were astounding: Not only were stockouts eliminated in the pilot clinics, but the amount of contraceptives provided to women shot up (IUDs by 52%, contraceptive injections by 61%, oral contraceptive pills by 73%, and implants by 940%).
Our programme in Senegal is one of our most recently established country programmes with the first centre opening in late 2011. We're the first reproductive health organisation in Senegal to engage with the private sector through social franchising as well as static centres. And we're already making progress in providing quality information and care to those who most need it.
At Marie Stopes International we share the foundation’s focus on results and understand the value of measuring impact in our work in family planning. We use evidence to continually monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our health programmes in a number of key areas including widening access to modern methods of family planning, improving maternal health, and reducing the number of unsafe abortions.
In a new infographic, using the latest figures from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and The World Bank, we show how family planning has contributed to reducing the number of maternal deaths in some of the poorest countries around the world.
And at the London Summit on Family Planning we committed to double the number of women able to use contraception by 2020.