On November 12-15, 2018, the international family planning community converged in Kigali, Rwanda to share best practices, celebrate successes, and chart the way forward at the International Conference on Family Planning.
SHOPS Plus shared new insights on private sector health through oral and poster presentations, and at a booth in the exhibition hall during the four-day conference.
At the conference, the project launched the Family Planning Market Analyzer, a new tool that combines data from Demographic and Health Surveys and FP2020’s projections of modern contraceptive prevalence to allow users to explore potential scenarios for a total market approach.
“What has been really amazing is hearing people raise private sector issues as part of a discussion or asking questions about private sector engagement at sessions that are focused on perhaps public sector issues,” said SHOPS Plus Deputy Director, Caroline Quijada, following the conference. “Even at our booth, there were many people coming by and saying they work with the private sector or that they are part of the private sector, and how much information can you share with us about my country or this particular activity.”
Interest in the private health sector was high. More than 500 visitors stopped by the SHOPS Plus booth and close to 400 participants attended a SHOPS Plus oral or poster presentation. The presentations focused on a range of issues including social marketing, a private sector mapping, and exploring new ways to use existing data.
“I am thankful to be able to participate in this conference,” remarked Dr. Isseu Touré, SHOPS Plus chief of party for Senegal, who gave a poster presentation at the conference. “As I am dealing with how to make the contribution of the private sector useful for the country [Senegal], I attended a lot of sessions. What I learned is that generally the link between demographic dividend and universal health coverage is understood. We have a lot of commitment from the government in African countries because they understand the concept very well and they know what to do. However, I think the problem is how to move from engagement to action.”
SHOPS Plus is strengthening governments’ ability to steward the private sector, through the use of a multi-pronged approach that includes conducting assessments, facilitating the development of private sector organizations, building the capacity of ministries of health in public-private partnership frameworks and mechanisms, advocating for policy reforms, and facilitating dialogue between stakeholders.