Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Opinion Article: Population legislation vital for development

Population legislation vital for development

Publication date: Monday, 24th November, 2008

The New Vision (Uganda)

By Jotham Musinguzi

The year 2009 marks the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). While very few people know the acronym, much less the goals and outcomes of this United Nations conference held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994, most people, particularly those in developing countries, have benefitted from the agreement of 179 countries (including Uganda) to the ICPD programme of action.

The ICPD programme of action has been an essential scale for countries’ population legislation and policy and has proved critical to the global improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.

The population conference was groundbreaking in its introduction of a new human rights-based approach to population and development — the links between women’s status, reproductive health, environmental destruction, poverty, and social and economic development were first recognised by the global community at the ICPD. The principal goal of the ICPD — universal access to reproductive health services by 2015 — is reinforced in the Maputo Plan of Action, which agreed that poor sexual and reproductive health is a leading killer in Africa. The Maputo Plan was later ratified by African heads of state.

In Uganda, infant mortality fell from 122 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1989 to the current rate of 76 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 1995, the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women in Uganda was 7.8%, this has now increased to 17.9%. And due to the strong partnership between the Government, civil society and international organisations, more people have access to reproductive health information and services to help them fulfill their decisions on the number and spacing of their children and to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS.

We should congratulate ourselves on these changes while recognising that Uganda, like most developing countries, requires much more progress on these sexual and reproductive health and rights indicators. Global progress has, in part, been hampered by underfunding and the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Despite progress on many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), less than a 10th of the distance to be covered to meet the MDG 5 of reducing maternal mortality globally has been met.

This MDG on maternal health is unlikely to be met, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, without concerted efforts. A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy or childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa is one in 16 while the risk in developed countries is only about one in 3,800. Maternal health is, therefore, an issue of great concern.

In Uganda alone, approximately 6,000 women die every year due to pregnancy complications. Women bleed to death, they do not have access to antibiotics to prevent simple infections; they often do not have the option of a caesarean section when it is necessary. It is a tragedy that women continue to die when maternal deaths and injuries are preventable when women have access to prenatal care, skilled attendance at births, and emergency obstetric care.

This means that Africans, must not only acknowledge our accomplishments in reproductive health, but we must take responsibility and work to address areas of greatest need. We can do this by sharing our experiences and good practices through South-South cooperation and learning from the successes of our brothers and sisters in other developing countries.

We need to look at example from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa and Sri Lanka, who have successfully lowered their rates of maternal ill-health through sustained financial and political commitment. Sri Lanka’s long-term commitment to safe motherhood services has, over four decades, decreased maternal mortality more than twenty-fold, from 486 maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths to 24 per 100,000.

This shows that with effort and resources, large-scale improvements in public health are achievable, a lesson that we need to take seriously. South-South collaboration is a workable model for developing countries to partner and learn from each other as we all strive towards the attainment of the common ICPD goals and MDGs.

Reproductive health and rights play an essential role in the development of our countries. Yet, these critical development issues have not received the importance and priority they deserve, despite their centrality to poverty eradication.

Enhancing individual reproductive health and rights enables governments to achieve their population goals—such as preventing unplanned pregnancies and slowing population growth—and provides the necessary conditions for economic and social development. Improving the overall well-being of populations also improves the development prospects of our countries.

As representatives from 25 developing countries gather this week in Kampala at the International Forum on “ICPD @ 15: Progress and Prospects,” hosted by Partners in Population and Development, to review progress and agree to an agenda for how to move the ICPD programme of action forward.

As we come to the 15th anniversary of the conference in 2009, we must remain focused on the most vulnerable and overlooked populations and issues to ensure that a just, equitable, and sustainable development is the one we bring about. Ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights is not only a moral imperative, it is economically sound. Economic and social development can only happen with a healthy and educated population.

We need donors and our governments to allocate sufficient resources, financial and otherwise, to support sexual and reproductive health and rights to fight poverty in our countries.

We must activate civil society to hold donors and governments accountable for the promises they have made. We must remain committed and vigilant, and demand that policies are in place and funds are allocated and expended in line with the commitments our leaders have made.

We must not relent on these efforts until women and their families in developing countries no longer fear marriage and pregnancy because of the high likelihood of death, illness and disability for themselves and their children.

We want to watch our sisters, wives and daughters experience the birth of their children as sources of joy, not as the cause of suffering and untimely death.

The writer is the Regional Director, Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office

This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/661115

News Article Prioritize maternal healthcare, First Lady tells policy makers

Prioritise maternal healthcare, First Lady tells policy makers

Publication date: Monday, 24th November, 2008

The New Vision (Uganda)

By Anthony Bugembe

LEADERS and policy makers from developing countries should address the high maternal and infant mortality rates.

This, according to the First Lady, Janet Museveni, will help to achieve sustainable development as the causes of the mortality are largely preventable.

“We cannot just sit back and watch as our women continue to die during pregnancy and child birth,” said the First Lady.

Mrs. Museveni was yesterday opening an international forum on population and development at the Imperial Royale Hotel that attracted political leaders and experts from 24 developing countries.

The health minister, Dr. Stephen Mallinga, decried Uganda’s poor progress on most health and social indicators.

“We still have a low contraceptive prevalence rate at 24%, low supervised deliveries at only 39%, high infant and maternal mortality at 76 and 435 respectively.”

“Although we have considerably reduced HIV prevalence to 6.4%, HIV/AIDS remains an epidemic in our country,” he said.

Mrs. Museveni said that Ugandan women continue to face risks during pregnancy and child birth.

“Uganda loses 6,000 women per year during pregnancy and child birth. These poor and powerless women continue to die, year in year out, most of them in remote villages.”

“For every woman who dies in pregnancy and child birth, six others survive but with chronic debilitating injuries and ill-health,” she said.

Mallinga noted: “As countries of the south, we need to realise that we have somewhat similar backgrounds. We should act in concert to promote a common health agenda.”

The theme for the conference is, ‘ICPD@15: Progress and prospects’. It is reviewing the progress of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt.

“While we need to find new champions for family planning and promote greater resource mobilisation for reproductive health programmes, we need perhaps more importantly to re-inforce political commiments and promote good governance,” said Harry Jooseery, executive director, Partners in Population and Development (PPD).

Besides Reproductive health, the conference will address new concerns like food crisis and human security, climate change and environmental degradation and review the south-to-south cooperation as a modality of change.

Jotham Musinguzi, the PPD chief for Africa, said governments pledged at the 2000 Abuja declarationto commit 15% of national budgets towards health.

This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/661183

Saturday, November 22, 2008

International Conference on “ICPD @ 15: Progress and Prospects”

Ministers, representatives, and leading population and reproductive health experts from 25 developing countries and many donor countries and organizations will gather this week in Kampala, Uganda at the International Forum on “ICPD @ 15: Progress and Prospects,” hosted by Partners in Population and Development (PPD). This forum will review progress and agree to an agenda for how to move the ICPD Programme of Action forward as we come to the 15th anniversary of the conference in 2009.

The conference programme includes sessions on Reproductive Health, Population and Development, HIV/AIDS, Food Crisis and Human Security, Climate Change and Environmental Degradation, and South-South Cooperation. Fourty-five plenary speakers, including Ministers of Health, Population, Social Welfare and Environment, Parliamentarians, senior Government officials, representatives of international NGOs, donor agencies, and civil-society organizations from across the globe, will present papers at the forum.

The opening session of will take place on Monday, 24 November 2008 at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda, at 9.00 AM with an opening address made by the First Lady of Uganda, H.E. Mrs. Janet K Museveni. The opening session will also be addressed by Dr. Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA New York; H.E. Dr. Li Bin, Chair, PPD Board, Minister, National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), Government of the People’s Republic of China; H.E. Dr. Emmanuel Otaala, Minister of Health, Republic of Uganda; Hon. Fred Jachan Omach Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Republic of Uganda; and Mr. Harry S. Jooseery, Executive Director, PPD.

Other major leaders participating in the conference are H.E. Dr. Li Bin, Chair, PPD Board, Honorable Minister, NPFPC, China; H.E. Dr. Zhao Baige, Vice Minister, National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), Government of the Peoples Republic of China; Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Honorable Minister, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India; Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific; Dr. Frederick Torgbor Sai, Special Adviser to the President, Ghana; Bettina Maas, Chief of Programme Support and Regional Desk Branch, UNFPA; Ms. Amy Coen, CEO and President of Population Action International, USA; Dr. Sara Seims, Director, Population Program, Hewlett Foundation, USA; Professor Duff G. Gillespie, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health; Dr. Malcom Potts, Professor, University of California, Berkeley, USA; Mr. Jyoti Singh, PPD Permanent Observer at the United Nations, USA; Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Director PPD ARO; Dr. Francisco Songane, Director, Partners for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, WHO, Geneva; Mr. Werner Haug, Director, Technical Support Division, UNFPA New York; and Dr. Robert W. Gillespie, President, Population Communication, USA.

This year, the conference will award Certificates of Excellence and Commemorative Plaques to Prof. Dr. Haryono Suyono, Former Minister for Population and Minister for People Welfare, Government of Indonesia and Chairman, Damandiri Foundation Indonesia; Mr. Jyoti Shankar Singh, Former Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA and PPD Permanent Observer at the United Nations, USA; Professor Dr. Nabiha Gueddana, General Director, National Office of Family and Population, Ministry of Public Health, Tunisia; Dr. Nafis Sadik, Former Executive Director, UNFPA and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific; Dr. Sara Seims, Director, Population Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, USA; and Dr. Steven W. Sinding, Former Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Senior Fellow, Guttmacher Institute in recognition for their pioneering role as PPD Founders and outstanding contribution for the promotion of South-South cooperation and ICPD goals.

The conference will be closed by the adoption of the Kampala Declaration on November 25, 2008.

“ICPD @15: Progress and Prospects” is organized by Partners in Population and Development (PPD) in collaboration with UNFPA, the Government of the Republic of Uganda, and Venture Strategies for Health and Development.

In conjunction with the “ICPD @ 15: Progress and Prospects” conference, Partners in Population and Development (PPD) will organize related events. PPD is organizing the XIII Annual Meetings of its Governing Board, Executive Committee and a Meeting of Partners Country Coordinators (PCCs) in Kampala, Uganda. These governance and programmatic events of PPD will be held consecutively at the same venue in Kampala from 23- 26 November 2008:

  • PPD XIII Executive Committee Meeting – 23 November 2008
  • Partners Country Coordinators (PCC) Meeting – 23 November 2008
  • Meeting with the President of Uganda – 25 November 2008
  • PPD XIII Annual Board Meeting – 26 November 2008

For additional information, including programme information, sessions, speakers and presentations, please visit www.partners-popdev.org.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Resolutions for the Regional Meeting of Parliamentary Committees on Health in East and Southern Africa, 16-18 September 2008, Kampala, Uganda

The Regional Meeting of Parliamentary Committees on Health in East and Southern Africa, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda September 16-18 2008, gathered members of parliamentary committees responsible for health from twelve countries in East and Southern Africa, with sixteen technical, government and civil society and regional partners to promote information exchange, facilitate policy dialogue and identify key areas of follow up action to advance health equity and sexual and reproductive health in the region.

Representatives from parliamentary committees agreed to a number of resolutions, including commitments they will pursue for the next two months, and the next year. Of particular interest to advocates for SRHR is the agreement that “parliaments must work towards national, regional and international commitments made to protect and advance the right to health and the commitment to equity in health, primary health care and sexual and reproductive heath rights (SRHR) at all levels in East and Southern Africa” including the 2000 African Union Heads of state Abuja declaration and Plan of Action and the Maputo Plan of Action (2006), which work within the framework of the commitments and plans made in relation to the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

In particular, the group noted, “the importance of implementing the Maputo Plan of Action to enhance SRHR to enable governments to achieve population goals to provide the necessary conditions for economic and social empowerment and development” and resolved to “ensure that such comprehensive SRHR services include Reproductive Health supplies (for commodity security), government funding for antiretrovirals (ARV) for adults and children, community mobilization on SRHR that involves men, especially in vulnerable communities and for adolescents and youth and education of girl children.”

And within the coming year, the group pledged to “prepare and make budget submissions that . . .Include necessary resource allocations for SRHR and for RH supplies (for commodity security)” and “obtain national population and reproductive health policies and national action plans and request report on progress in their funding and implementation.

The full resolution document is posted on the PPD ARO website at: http://ppdafrica.org/docs/ParliamentResolutionsSEP08.pdf

News Article: MPs Want More Investment in Maternal Health

MPs Want More Investment in Maternal Health
The Monitor (Kampala)
24 September 2008
Posted to the web 24 September 2008

By Evelyn Lirri

When members of parliament from 13 countries across east and southern Africa gathered in Kampala last week to deliberate on health issues affecting the continent, one thing that came out forcefully was the health of mothers and children.

The MPs who were drawn from parliamentary committees of health and social services from the countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Namibia and Swaziland others discussed the challenges affecting the health sector in their various countries, urging for more investment, particularly in maternal health and equity in health.

Dr Jotham Musinguzi, the African regional Director for Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an intergovernmental alliance of 22 developing countries that hosted the meeting painted a bleak picture of the health status in sub Saharan Africa.

He said that while 25 percent of the global disease burden is in the region, only one percent is spent on health. As a result, he said, the region is characterised by poor reproductive health indices, high HIV/Aids and food insecurity among other problems.

Mothers die of preventable illnesses
Maternal mortality indices across the African continent are still high and countries could fail to meet MDG targets related to health unless issues of reproductive health security are addressed.

PPD Executive Director, Mr Harry Jooseery said reproductive health and population issues have been neglected.

"Until we deal with the population problem, stabilise and produce a quality population, we are not going to resolve any of our problems.

The well being of a nation is how much a country has invested in health and education," he said.

Health Minister Dr Stephen Mallinga said that one of the greatest challenges facing developing countries was poor health particularly for women and children.

He said that reproductive health issues have in recent years not received the importance and priority they deserve yet it is central to poverty eradication.

"A woman's lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth in sub Saharan Africa is one in 16 while the risk in developed countries is one in 3,800," Dr Mallinga said.

According to the health minister, the rate at which mothers die from haemorrhage, infection due to lack of antibiotics and complications was absurd. He added that cases that necessitates a caesarean can significantly be reduced through access to prenatal care, skilled attendance at births and emergency obstetric care.

Free bleeding medication
Dr Mallinga said one of the things the ministry was doing was to the introduction of a drug called misoprostol, which can help in preventing women from bleeding after birth, which he said is the leading cause of maternal mortality in Uganda.

Misoprostol tablet, which Dr Mallinga said is already available in health centres will be given free of charge to women who experience bleeding after birth.

Bleeding after birth remains a great health risk for women not only in Uganda but the African continent.

Uganda's maternal mortality rate, according to the 2006 demographic and health survey stands at 435 for every 100,000 live births.

Besides the misoprostol tablet, the government is also in the process of launching a new roadmap to accelerate the reduction of maternal mortality.

The Parliamentary Social Services Committee in August 2008 presented to parliament a report, among others recommending that maternal/reproductive health be prioritised and resources mobilised to address funding gaps.


Copyright © 2008 The Monitor. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Key Factors Contribute to Successful FP Programs

Family Planning Professionals Identify 10 Key Factors Contributing to Successful Programs (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Baltimore, MD—A well-trained, supervised, and motivated staff is one of the most important elements of success in family planning programming, according to the latest issue of Population Reports, "Elements of Success in Family Planning Programming" from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Obtaining an adequate budget is one of the most difficult elements for family planning programs to achieve. Although proper funding in and of itself will not guarantee program success, inadequate funding of programs will ensure their failure.

The report is based on a 2007 poll of nearly 500 health care professionals around the world who identified the top 10 elements most important to the success of family planning programs. The elements range from ensuring client-centered care to offering affordable services to implementing effective communication strategies. The Population Reports issue synthesizes online discussions about these elements and highlights program experiences, best practices, and evidence-based guidance derived from nearly six decades in international family planning.

“The impact of family planning programs over the past five decades is tremendous,” according to co-authors Catherine Richey and Ruwaida Salem. “But programs today are still facing challenges.” According to the report an estimated half of all pregnancies are unplanned or unintended. Preventing these unintended pregnancies has the potential to avert about one-third of maternal deaths and nearly 10% of childhood deaths.

Programs must also expand to serve growing numbers of clients. Between 2000 and 2015 the number of contraceptive users worldwide is expected to increase by over 40% due to both population growth and larger proportions using contraception. Coordinating efforts among the many diverse groups of stakeholders, including governments, donors, and service delivery and communication organizations, is key to ensuring that resources are sufficient, applied where most needed, and used efficiently, with minimal duplication of effort.

Family planning professionals can apply best practices and lessons learned to design, carry out, and scale up good-quality programs. The lessons identified in this report can help managers of these programs, donor agency staff, policy makers, and other family planning professionals to plan new programs, improve existing programs, and prepare for future developments and challenges.

The report’s companion Web site, www.fpsuccess.org, serves as home base for a virtual community of family planning professionals around the world. Members can find resources, tailor information to their specific areas of interest, engage in discussions, and network with colleagues. An electronic learning course on the topic is also available at www.globalhealthlearning.org.

For more information, contact Ruwaida Salem at rsalem@jhuccp.org

Find This Report and Related Resources Online:

The full-text version of this 28-page Population Reports issue is available at

For a listing of all Population Reports issues online, go to http://www.populationreports.org. Population Reports is published three times a year in English, French, and Spanish by the INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs. The INFO Project receives support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Upcoming Anglophone Course on the MDGs, Poverty Reduction, RH and Health Sector Reform

Upcoming Anglophone Course on “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Poverty Reduction, Reproductive Health and Health Sector Reform” by The World Bank Institute, NCAPD (Government of Kenya) and the ECSA/Commonwealth Secretariat.

The course is full-time, from November 18-25, 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya. The course integrates three thematic clusters:
1. New Policy Directions: MDGs Related to Health and Gender, and Poverty Reduction Strategies
2. Design and Delivery of Health Services and Programs
3. Health Services and Health Sector Reform which are presented through a combination of presentations, readings, case examples and group work.

Objective: To provide state-of-the-art knowledge and skills for key stakeholders to design and deliver more efficient, equitable, and financially sustainable health interventions in the context of health sector reforms and evolving international policies.

Audience: Staff from governments, donor agencies, international organizations, the private sector, PVOs/NGOs, training and research institutions involved in health and government-initiated health sector reforms in World Bank client countries working in the areas of health, public administration or social sector reform.

Target Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

Language: English

For more information, please review: http://info.worldbank.org/etools/wbi_learning/activity.cfm?sch_id=HNP08-01-232

PPD member and collaborating countries can also contact: Mr. Charles N. Oisebe, PPD PCC for Kenya and Senior Programme Officer, Programme Coordination, National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development (NCAPD), Government of Kenya

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad Practices: Presentations that Cause Narcolepsy

Too many slides filled with unreadable charts that overwhelm audiences with data. Too much text on a slide not only strains the eyes of audience members in the back of the room, it can also distract them from the presenter’s message. Even poor colour choice can prevent colourblind audience members from being able to read slides. We cannot fault those who fall asleep, check email on their laptops, or decide to read the paper in the middle of our presentations.

One of the most common "bad practices" among population and reproductive health advocates, both in Africa and internationally, are presentations that bore our audiences.

So what is there to be done? We need to take responsibility for making better presentations. It takes more work on our part, but making our visuals and speeches more compelling can go a long way to improving the effectiveness of meetings and events to reach our goals. We have very important messages to make to both political and technical audiences, so we need to ensure that our key arguments are communicated clearly and compellingly.

Below, we have summarized some advice from communications expert Andy Goodman that can help us start the process of improving our presentations.

Most importantly, recognize what presentations are for. PowerPoint is not a document. You can and should distribute memos and reports to your audience to give them the details and information they need when they leave. Your presentation should not read like a document. It should not be an outline projected on a screen to prompt you on the key point of the talk—if you need prompts, you should carry index cards to remind you of the order of the points you intend to make in your presentation.

So what is a presentation for? Andy Goodman states that "your time at the podium is your opportunity to convey the essence of your proposal, shine a spotlight on key points of a report, or tell a story that brings your issue to life in ways that only live delivery can."

So PowerPoint should be used to provide visuals to dramatically illustrate your arguments in your presentation. With this in mind, Andy Goodman recommends that you

"Go heavy on images, light on text. Even when taking copious notes, most audience members will retain very little from your talk. The more you throw at them, the less they’ll tend to remember.

Putting text on the screen while you talk only compounds this problem. Not only are you presenting even more information, you’re asking the audience to divide its concentration between competing information sources. A compelling picture, in contrast, can provide an emotionally powerful backdrop that underscores points you wish to make."

So how can we do this? For example, if you want to make an argument about the high unmet need for family planning in Africa, you could use a large chart of data, drawn from a recent DHS or UNFPA report, listing a number of African countries, their current contraceptive prevalence rates, fertility rates, unmet need, and population growth rates. But the argument you want to make would not be communicated to a non-technical audience that does not know the difference between CPR, TFR, and unmet need (and even technical audiences are so used to seeing these statistics that data charts often do not compel action). Instead, showing a photograph of a young mother with a weary expression on her face, surrounded by five small children, a small child on her back, and pregnant with another child, would make a much greater impact on your audience than an overwhelming set of numbers. When you show the image of the woman, you can say something like "like this young woman, most Ugandan women want five children in total, yet, women in Uganda have, on average, between six and seven children." (Uganda DHS) . Your audience will clearly now understand your argument.

If statistics are important to your point, think about the best way to communicate the information. Graphs (such as line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts) communicate information much more clearly than a chart with dozens of numbers in multiple columns and rows.

If you use text, reduce the amount to what can be read in a quick glance. If you decide to project more text, such as to quote a commitment in a regional declaration such as the Maputo Plan of Action or the Abuja Declaration from the African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases in Abuja, Nigeria, April 2001, stop talking and pause to allow your audience to read the statement: "The pause will call attention to the text, honors the audience members’ ability to actually read for themselves (which, amazingly, many speakers fail to acknowledge), and lets them 'hear' the words in their own internal voice, which is uniquely powerful."

Remember that the focus should be on you (and your arguments) and not on fancy visuals, animations, or slide transitions. Thus, here are a few more things to consider:

1) What is the major goal for your presentation? What knowledge do you want audience members to leave with? How do you want them to act on this knowledge?

2) Review your materials, and for short presentations, select just three key take-away points that your audience must understand in order for your major goal to be fulfilled

3) Support each of the three points visually (if one or two cannot be communicated well visually, do not force it)

4) Rehearse your visual presentation—it’s not just what you say that matters, but also how you say it. Make a backup plan about what to do in case if the power fails or if the projector at the meeting venue does not work?

For more information and advice, you can download Andy Goodman’s book Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes for free at: http://www.agoodmanonline.com/publications/how_bad_presentations_happen/index.htm

This book gives advice on how to avoid the most commonly made mistakes in presentations, how to structure your information in ways that help audiences absorb it, how to use PowerPoint more effectively, and how to deliver your talks with greater confidence. Please note that on the website, two versions of the same document are available—one for high-bandwidth and another for low-bandwidth connection speeds.

Source: www.agoodmanonline.com and Andy Goodman. April 2004. Free-range thinking™, available at www.agoodmanonline.com.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Family Planning in Rwanda

Preliminary data from a new national survey in Rwanda show a dramatic rise in use of modern contraception among married women: from 10% in 2005 to 27% in 2008. This preliminary data, from a forthcoming MEASURE Demographic and Health Survey, were released by Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics on 30 May 2008. In addition to the gain in modern contraceptive use, the data show a decrease in Rwanda’s fertility rate to an average of 5.5 children per woman, down from 6.1. Mortality rates have declined 28% for infants and 32% for children-under-five since 2005.

IntraHealth has recently published a very readable report “Family Planning in Rwanda: How a Taboo Topic Became Priority Number One” written by Julie Solo and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Family Planning in Rwanda documents how the government and development partners have overcome social and cultural barriers to family planning. The full report is posted in pdf on the IntraHealth website. A press release, as well as more information on the recently released preliminary Rwandan Demographic and Health Survey results are also online on the IntraHealth website.

Welcome to the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO) blog!

South-South is a group blog, facilitated by the PPD ARO. PPD promotes South-South cooperation in the areas of population, development, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The vision of the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office is “A continent that meets its reproductive health needs, promotes the population and development agenda and thereby addresses poverty, through South-South cooperation.” PPD Africa, as part of the global South-South inter-governmental alliance, provides a platform for the promotion of and resource mobilization for reproductive health, population and development in Africa through three elements:
1. Policy dialogue;
2. Networking and building strategic partnerships in the region; and
3. Sharing of experiences and good practices.

We want to take this opportunity to invite all of our partners in members countries and collaborating countries, to not only read about the work that PPD is engaged in, but also to contribute to the sharing of information and experiences. We hope that as time goes on, that you will find information of use to you in your work coordinating your country’s South-South activities. The PPD ARO will also use this as a space to share information on upcoming meetings and events that we are hosting, as well as to advertise events, trainings, and resources of our partners and collaborators (governmental as well as non-governmental).

We appreciate all comments, suggestions, and questions. You are welcome to leave comments directly on the blog. Or, if you prefer, you are welcome to email us at aro at ppdafrica.org. We hope that you will make this blog yours by contributing. Please read our Terms of Service, which details our contents disclaimer and comments policy.

Terms of Service

The PPD ARO blog and all of the content posted to the site, are “as is,” and are subject to the following disclaimers and comment policies. These conditions may be updated by us at our discretion and without notice to you. If you do not agree to these conditions please do not use this blog. Please check the Terms periodically for changes. Your continued use of this site following the posting of any changes to these Terms constitutes an acceptance of these Terms on your part.

Contents Disclaimer
The information and opinions expressed are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of PPD as an organization, its Board, or member countries to PPD. Many of the links posted will direct you to third-party websites. All of the information on these sites have not been reviewed for accuracy by PPD staff. These links are offered to stimulate sharing and discussion on topics that may be of interest to readers.

Comments Policy
Most posts allow comments by readers. Blog users agree to use the comments option to send messages and materials that are proper and related to the particular post. We retain the right to remove any comment we determine to be, at our sole discretion, unacceptable. This includes personal attacks, profanity, or comments that are for any other reason objectionable. We also retain the right to make edits to grammar, spelling, and style.

Users agree that all comments are public. Any information received will be considered not to be confidential. The PPD Africa blog does not claim ownership of any comments submitted. However, by submitting comments you grant the PPD Africa blog a perpetual, royalty-free license to use, distribute, reproduce, edit, and publish this information in other formats. Users agree to not post materials protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity). If you contribute comments that do not constitute your original work of authorship, you represent and warrant to the PPD Africa blog that you do not infringe on any third party’s copyright or other proprietary rights and that you have secured all necessary permission and licenses prior to contributing such content to the PPD Africa blog.