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Focus UNFPA: Four recommendations for action. Report of the CGD Working Group on UNFPA’s Leadership Transition.
Washington, D.C., Center for Global Development, 2011.  p.The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established in 1969 to generate resources for family planning and provide global leadership on population issues. Since then, the diverse needs of countries and evolving global views of population have placed complex issues on UNFPA’s doorstep. The Center for Global Development Working Group on UNFPA’s Leadership Transition recommends that UNFPA narrow its focus to again become one of the most important and visible vehicles for promoting sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights globally and in developing countries. Supported by experts within and outside the United Nations (UN), UNFPA should also help countries take account of population issues in the process of pursuing sustainable development. The time is right to reinvigorate UNFPA. Seventeen years after the groundbreaking International Conference on Population and Development, UNFPA needs to make itself the lead agency for population, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights in the UN system, as well as be more visible externally. Recommendation 1: Establish and pursue a limited set of priorities closely related to UNFPA’s unique mission. Recommendation 2: Refine goals and transparently measure progress. Recommendation 3: Align human resources with a focused and renewed mission. Recommendation 4: Rebrand UNFPA as the lead agency for sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
[Washington, D.C.], Center for Global Development, 2011 Mar.  p. (CGD Brief)With a new executive director appointed in November 2010, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is in a position to re-assert its role and lead the world’s effort toward landmark achievements in improving women’s health and well-being. The Fund’s performance will literally be a matter of life or death for millions of women and children. The numbers speak for themselves: an estimated 215 million women lack access to modern contraceptives, and there are approximately 350,000 maternal deaths each year. As the lead agency for the United Nations’ work on population and reproductive health, UNFPA can reduce this terrible and unnecessary toll of lost lives. The Center for Global Development Working Group on UNFPA’s Leadership Transition urges the Fund to sharpen its focus in pursuing the Programme of Action developed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. Specifically, the Working Group recommends the following steps to Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin: Establish and pursue a limited set of priorities closely related to UNFPA’s unique mission; Improve UNFPA’s performance measurement and reporting; Align UNFPA’s human resources with its renewed agenda; Define and communicate UNFPA’s role in population, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights.
Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 2011.  p. (Policy and Issue Brief)The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supports family planning and reproductive health programs in developing countries that save women’s lives. UNFPA provides international leadership on population issues and is a key source of financial assistance for these important programs. Maintaining U.S. funding for UNFPA programs is crucial to improving the health of women and their families, addressing demographic trends, and promoting sustainable development.
Repositioning family planning: Guidelines for advocacy action. Le repositionnement de la planification familiale: Directives pour actions de plaidoyer.
Washington, D.C., Academy for Educational Development [AED], 2008. 64 p.Countries throughout Africa are engaged in an important initiative to reposition family planning as a priority on their national and local agendas. Provision of family planning services in Africa is hindered by poverty, poor access to services and commodities, conflicts, poor coordination of the programmes, and dwindling donor funding. Although family planning enhances efforts to improve health and accelerate development, shifting international priorities, health sector reform, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and other factors have affected its importance in recent years. Traditional beliefs favouring high fertility, religious barriers, and lack of male involvement have weakened family planning interventions. The combination of these factors has led to low contraceptive use, high fertility rates in many countries, and high unmet needs for family planning throughout the region. Family planning advocates must take action to change this situation. Family planning, considered an essential component of primary health care and reproductive health, plays a major role in reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality and transmission of HIV. It contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the targets of the Health-for-All Policy for the 21st century in the Africa Region: Agenda 2020. In recognition of its importance, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa developed a framework (2005-014) for accelerated action to reposition family planning on national agendas and in reproductive health services, which was adopted by African ministers of health in 2004. The framework calls for increase in efforts to advocate for recognition of "the pivotal role of family planning" in achieving health and development objectives at all levels. This toolkit aims to help those working in family planning across Africa to effectively advocate for renewed emphasis on family planning to enhance the visibility, availability, and quality of family planning services for increased contraceptive use and healthy timing and spacing of births, and ultimately, improved quality of life across the region. It was developed in response to requests from several countries to assist them in accelerating their family planning advocacy efforts.
Lancet. 2007 May 5; 369(9572):1492.Perinatal mortality is one of the least understood areas of maternal and newborn health. Last week, the UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) released figures from 2005 showing that perinatal mortality rates (defined as fetal death after 22 weeks' gestation or infant death within 7 days of birth) have not changed since the early 1990s. The same trend applies to many countries in the WHO European region. Maternal risk factors for perinatal mortality are known. Those who are black, Asian, socially deprived, younger than 20 years or older than 40 years are most at risk, and yet the rate of perinatal mortality remains unacceptably high. The CEMACH report blames a lack of knowledge of the causes of death; more than half of the stillbirths they recorded were classified as "unexplained". This ignorance stems from a lack of research-perinatal autopsy rates in the UK decreased from 58% in 1993 to 39% in 2005, and in 2006 there were twice as many research studies published on infant mortality than on perinatal death. (excerpt)