The third National Conference to Reposition Family Planning in the DRC was organized at Hotel Beatrice in Kinshasa. The objective of the conference was to make family planning a strategic intervention towards emergence of the DRC (Horizon 2030) by increasing visibility of family planning to attract funding, mobilizing partners in private and religious sectors, and placing an emphasis on young people’s access to family planning services. The conference also provided the central government and provincial ministers the opportunity to organize a Round Table with all donors allowing them to make commitments for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Family Planning 2015-2020.
A meeting at the Grand Hotel in Kinshasa brought stakeholders together to launch two important developments in family planning work in the DRC: the newly-adopted Strategic Plan, and the Packard Foundation-funded ACQUAL project to increase access to and quality of family planning services in Kinshasa. An audience of 125 family planning stakeholders from the government, civil society, NGOs and the donor community were present to mark these key events.
At the morning session, local and international researchers presented results of two recent family planning surveys using innovative cell phone technology. Tulane University also presented an overview of activities under its new project.
The new Strategic Plan for 2014-2020 was officially launched in an evening ceremony. The Director of PNSR presented highlights of the plan. The Minister of Health spoke eloquently about the necessity of political commitment to family planning and personally distributed the plan to several high level leaders in attendance, making clear that the government would hold actors accountable for implementation. The dual launch was a fitting event to increase momentum around family planning.
The Reunion de Plaidoyer pour le Financement de la Planification Familiale en RDC (Meeting of Advocacy for the Financing of Family Planning in the DRC) brought together major stakeholders involved in family planning in the DRC and reinvigorated local effort to advance FP. The objective of the conference was to accelerate universal access to family planning interventions in the DRC. More specific objectives were to present the FP supply and demand situation geographically, discuss FP coordination, reinforce collaboration among FP organizations, define elements of FP integration and sustainability and address issues of contraceptive financing and procurement. Desired results of the conference were to identify gaps in supply and demand, establish a plan of action to address the gaps and create a mechanism of integration, sustainability and coordination for FP. An important mechanism created in December 2012 was the Kinshasa Family Planning Coalition, which has met quarterly with the aim of increasing contraceptive availability in Kinshasa.
The Conference Nationale pour le Repositionnement de la Planification Familiale en DRC (National Conference to Reposition Family Planning in the DRC) was organized. The objective of the conference was to mobilize the government and partners to reaffirm their commitment to implement a strategic plan for repositioning family planning by mobilizing resources. The conference established that family planning should be prioritized through the development and implementation of interventions that promote family planning. Mrs. Marie-Olive Lemba Kabila Kabange, the First Lady, gave a speech to launch the conference to promote maternal and child health.
SANRU III and Advance Africa held the first national conference to reposition family planning in the DRC, but the conference did not achieve desired results.
Project des Services des Naissances Desirables (PSND; Desirable Births Service Project) held a conference where results were presented from different operations research projects conducted by PSND. Several health professionals working in family planning attended the conference.