Finding Inspiration at the ICFP

January 28th, 2016 | Viewpoint


People usually come to the beautiful island of Bali for a relaxing vacation to enjoy its magnificent beaches. This week around 3000 people have come from different corners of the world for a different purpose. We’ve come to Bali for the International Conference on Family Planning 2016 (ICFP) from Jakarta, where JSI is a partner on the “Right Time, Right Method, My Choice” project. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (CCP) we are working with the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BKKBN) in 11 districts to strengthen its supply chain with an aim to increase contraceptive availability at service delivery points. The “My Choice” model uses a holistic approach by focusing on both supply strengthening and demand generation initiatives with a goal of increasing mCPR by 5%.

Being here in Bali learning from the experts in our field has been truly inspirational. Not only have we had useful, informal conversations with various stakeholders and partners on the project, but more important, we are learning from others how they have approached similar issues. We have both read case studies of key projects and approaches—and are now attending sessions that highlight those projects and meeting people we’ve only read about. It is a tremendous opportunity for learning.

Our project is still in its early phases. Using an implementation research approach, the results of our recently concluded baseline assessment will guide the design of supply chain strengthening interventions. The timing of ICFP couldn’t have been better for us as we enter the implementation phase. Gaining insights from sessions on successful innovative solutions as well lessons learned from various projects around the globe will be useful in designing our approach going forward.

The secondary focus on Indonesia here has also given us insights into the broader Indonesian health system, which impacts how family planning services are delivered, especially as the country transitions to providing universal health coverage. We now have a better understanding of how the larger government approaches health services, and how that fits together with the work of BKKBN

Finally, it has been a pleasure meeting the rest of the 27 strong JSI contingent here at ICFP. Being fairly new members of the JSI family, it was great for us to meet JSI veterans and learn all about their experiences.

For us, ICFP has been a great opportunity. Our project approach will be richer with what we’ve learned here and our relationships stronger. This is a week that we will not forget.

This post wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the resilience and commitment of the organizers and participants (some made the trip twice!) to make ICFP 2016 happen in spite of the challenges posed by the November volcanic eruptions. Thank you ICFP – it is a privilege to be part of this great FP community!

Written by Nurfadliah Abdillah and Omar Balsara

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