The Ouagadougou Partnership’s purpose is to accelerate the use of family planning services in nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. In December, 2012, the Partnership created a Coordination Unit – based in Dakar, Senegal in the offices of IntraHealth International – to help the Partnership reach its goal of increasing the number of women using modern contraceptives by at least 2.2 millions in these nine countries by 2020.
The missions of the coordination Unit are :
- Facilitating Partnership processes
- Helping countries complete the planning process
- Assisting countries with plan implementation
- Tracking progress against objectives
- Sharing information inside and outside the Partnership
The Coordination Unit will continue to provide and improve necessary administrative functions that facilitate the smooth execution of the partnership’s business. Among other activities, it will:
- Convene core donors annually to discuss priorities and collective actions, and facilitate monthly Ouagadougou Partnership phone calls with this same group.
- Convene Partnership members (donors, civil society, member countries, and strategic partners) annually to discuss funding opportunities and needs, exchange experiences about effective scale-up of family planning programs, review evidence from pilots, celebrate progress, and explore strategies to address challenges.
The Coordination Unit will continue to work with core donors and technical assistance partners to help countries complete the planning process. It will:
- Assist four countries (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Mali) to launch their finalized plans in collaboration with technical assistance providers.
- Communicate with the technical assistance partners and report back to Ouagadougou Partnership members on key milestones and progress of the action planning processes, including when teams encounter delays or barriers.
- Conduct visits to selected countries with individual (or groups of) core donors for the purposes of identifying obstacles and solutions to plan implementation and to coordinate donor efforts with government needs.
As countries move from planning to implementation, the CU will increase focus on helping countries identify needs and attract resources, and on coordinating external support for countries. An important theme of this work will be helping countries keep track of and guide projects funded by Partnership donors and other actors. It will:
- Maintain up-to-date information of donor and implementing partner funding and activities in Partnership countries, and share summaries of these data with countries and the donor group at least once per year, or more often as possible.
Identify financial and technical assistance needs at the country level, in collaboration with Family Planning 2020, and share this information with the Partnership donor group.
- Help countries identify new sources of funding, including from donors not in the Partnership and the Family Planning 2020 Rapid Response Mechanism.
The Coordination Unit will collect and disseminate select quantitative and qualitative data to measure progress of countries toward their national family planning action plan goals. It will:
- Collect quantitative data annually from Track20, and possibly other initiatives, for the OP’s tracking.
- Gather qualitative data on plan implementation from countries, likely relying on core donors’ and strategic partners’ existing mechanisms. The expectation is to collect these data once or twice per year, but that schedule depends on countries’ particular contexts and needs.
- Conduct an annual meeting with country monitoring, evaluation, and learning (ME&L) focal points to discuss progress. As possible, this meeting will be coordinated with other initiatives in the region including FP2020 working groups, Track20, PMA2020, and relevant USAID-funded ME&L projects.
- Verify that each country is conducting an annual review of its family planning action plan to gauge progress and revise as needed following the model of Senegal’s review in late 2014. The Coordination Unit will assist countries in launching review processes, although it cannot manage these processes itself.
The Coordination Unit will continue to draw attention to family planning needs in Francophone West Africa and to facilitate information exchanges between countries, donors, and other actors. It will:
- Promote learning and travel by country stakeholders across the region and globally through the CU’s Travel and Learning Fund. The CU will develop a set of criteria and an application process and communicate to the wider Partnership about the opportunity using calls and the website.
- Facilitate information exchanges between countries and between partners working on similar topics. For instance, the CU will organize conference calls between countries, encourage country officials to invite colleagues from other countries to reviews of their action plans, work with WAHO to lead exchanges between advocacy organizations, and work with journalists focused on family planning.
- Maintain and further develop the Partnership website to include, for instance, meeting schedules, technical resources, meeting summaries, news and updates, summaries of activities, and donor support.