Tuesday, November 5th, 2019, the Ouagadougou Partnership (OP) launched an initiative to shape its future and the future for women and families in Francophone West Africa “Beyond 2020.” Founded in 2011, the OP is one of the most successful partnerships between the governments, civil society and donors to accelerate the availability and use of family planning services in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
During its initial phase – Urgency to Act – the OP exceeded its goal of adding 1 million additional users of modern contraception between 2012 and 2015 by 200,000. Now in the second phase of the Partnership – the Acceleration Phase – the nine Francophone West Africa country members are once again on track to exceed their goal of adding 2.2 million additional users of modern contraception between 2016 and 2020. Experts and policymakers agree that the Partnership was a primary cause of this unparalleled family planning progress in West Africa over the past seven years. Their support and praise are expansive and varied.
Mr. Mabingue Ngom, Regional Director for UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO), summarized the exceptional value of the Partnership for the region in these terms: « I don’t know what would have happened without the OP.”
For Abdourahmane Diallo, former Minister of Health (Guinea), « The OP has built a name and reputation that goes well beyond West Africa. »
The aptly named OP Beyond 2020 initiative will allow all stakeholders to celebrate and reflect on their achievements since the OP inception, co-create a new vision to address persistent challenges, and identify organizational options to achieve newly defined goals.
The first stage in the process, launching now, will provide an opportunity for the OP community to share lessons and develop ideas to tackle outstanding challenges. (Have to add more descriptions here). During a second stage, in early 2020, the OP community will use their reflections and assessments of outstanding challenges to set an ambitious vision for the future, complete with goals, theories of change, and metrics for success. The third and final phase in the Spring and Summer of 2020 will be the time to decide how to organize the Partnership and its coordinating body to reach newly adopted goals. At every step of the process, findings and emerging trends will be refined and improved by the continued feedback of all stakeholders. The final vision, guiding principles, and focus areas will likely be announced during the second quarter of 2020.
The OP Beyond 2020 website is available at beyond2020.partenariatouaga.org and will contain information, articles, surveys, and other resources related to this initiative.