As soon as a country joins the FP2020 partnership, stakeholders from the family planning sector form a small FP2020 focal point team. The focal points are individuals representing the government (typically the Ministry or Department of Health), donor agencies (in most countries this is UNFPA and USAID, with DFID, BMGF, Global Affairs Canada, and Agence Française de Développement in some countries), and, as of 2017, civil society. In many countries the focal points are already working closely together, and the FP2020 structure provides a new way for global partners to support their efforts.

The FP2020 focal points serve as the key representatives of the FP2020 movement in-country. They coordinate with each other, the government, other partners and stakeholders, and the FP2020 Secretariat to drive progress on the country’s family planning goals. The FP2020 Secretariat works closely with each focal point team to identify challenges and accelerate implementation.

The focal point system is grounded in the recognition that a strong country-led partnership, with broad stakeholder engagement across multiple sectors, is the most effective means of mobilizing progress on an ambitious family planning strategy.


When the FP2020 focal points were first established in 2013, the country teams included only representatives from the government and donor agencies. This past year we began the process of expanding each country team to include a civil society focal point as well.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) are essential partners in the family planning sector. They are service providers, technical experts, policy advisors, youth leaders, community representatives, and the crucial implementing partners who help governments realize their family planning strategies. Including a CSO representative on the focal point team better reflects how family planning programs and in-country technical partnerships really work.

The focal point expansion was launched in early 2017 with FP2020 countries in Asia, in time for the Second Asia Regional Focal Point Workshop in May (refer here). Following feedback from the launch in Asia, nominations for civil society focal points in the Anglophone Africa countries were finalized in time for their regional workshop in November in Malawi. (See the next page for more on the workshop system.) The nine countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership already have civil society focal points who will now serve in that same capacity for FP2020; nominations for the remaining Francophone countries were finalized in the latter half of 2017.


FP2020 support is aligned with the country’s FP2020 commitment and with its costed implementation plan (CIP). The CIP is a multi-year roadmap for implementing the country’s long-range family planning strategy and achieving its FP2020 goals. Some countries have already developed their CIPs before officially committing to FP2020; those that have not are offered technical assistance with the process. Refer here for an in-depth discussion of CIPs.


The FP2020 Secretariat convenes regional workshops for focal point teams in Asia, Anglophone Africa, and the Francophone countries every 18 months. These workshops are at the heart of what FP2020 does, providing the space and technical assistance for countries to refine and assess their rights-based family planning strategies. The workshops are attended by technical experts, global partners, representatives from the FP2020 core conveners, and focal point teams from all the commitment-making FP2020 countries in the region.

The goals of each focal point workshop are threefold:

  • Accelerate progress on the country’s family planning goals by developing an action plan in alignment with the CIP (see below).
  • Broaden the evidence base by cultivating South-South collaboration as well as knowledge exchange between countries and technical experts.
  • Strengthen FP2020 collaboration with partners and stakeholders in-country, within regions, and across the global partnership.


Each focal point team develops its Actions for Acceleration plan (commonly referred to as an action plan) at their regional focal point workshop. The action plan is aligned with the country’s FP2020 commitment and CIP, and outlines the immediate priorities for the next 18 months. It functions as a shared working agenda for the FP2020 focal points, their partners and stakeholders in-country, and the FP2020 Secretariat. Because the action plan is a short-term document, with a new one developed at each workshop, it’s flexible enough to address changing conditions and emerging priorities. The action plan identifies immediate objectives that need to be achieved in order to accelerate progress on the country’s family planning commitments and strategy. The action plan also facilitates resource matching and technical assistance as pivotal priorities emerge and are identified.


Bangladesh’s family planning strategy is guided by its Costed Implementation Plan for the National Family Planning Program 2016-2020 (the CIP), which outlines a multi-year process to achieve the country’s FP2020 goals. Bangladesh’s current Actions for Acceleration plan is a working agenda developed by the FP2020 focal point team. It covers the period from mid-2017 to late 2018, and details specific activities that will support progress on the CIP.

For example, one of the objectives identified in the CIP is to strengthen the national family planning program through cross-sectoral partnerships and collaborations. The goal by 2020 is to have in place “effective partnerships between government, NGOs, and community stakeholders.”

To make progress on this objective, the action plan called for a civil society forum on family planning to be convened in 2017. The focal points representing UNFPA and EngenderHealth took the lead on organizing what became a joint CSO/government Partnership Workshop, held in October 2017. More than 30 Bangladesh CSOs attended the workshop to learn more about the country’s FP2020 program and explore opportunities for civil society to be involved. The next step will be to formalize the collaborations and partnerships discussed at the workshop.

Action plans are also useful for highlighting unexpected issues. In April 2017, a fire at Bangladesh’s central family planning warehouse destroyed most of the contraceptive commodities that were stored there. The focal points included a line item in the action plan identifying the urgent need to replace these commodities. The issue was resolved with assistance from UNFPA and an additional budget allocation from the government.

Read Bangladesh’s Actions for Acceleration 2017–2018 at: familyplanning2020.org/bangladesh

The Rapid Response Mechanism has funded 60 projects in 33 countries


The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) is an important element of FP2020’s country support efforts, providing resources quickly to meet time-sensitive needs and opportunities. Established in July 2014 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and FP2020,and subsequently joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an anonymous donor, the fund disburses short-term, high-impact grants in FP2020 focus countries. Since its inception, the RRM has funded 60 projects in 33 countries and disbursed a total of US$5,031,928 (as of August 2017).

The RRM funds projects that will expand rights-based family planning programs in FP2020 focus countries. In countries that have made an FP2020 commitment, the RRM also supports specific needs that are identified in the commitment, action plan, or costed implementation plan. Grantees include local grassroots partners as well as international NGOs.

Visit our Rapid Response Mechanism microsite at: familyplanning2020.org/RRM


Nigeria’s 2012 London Summit commitment included adopting a task-shifting policy and training frontline health workers to deliver a range of contraceptives. When Nigeria launched its Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale-Up Plan) for 2014–2018, the training of community health workers was highlighted as a priority. But the first rounds of training were delayed due to resistance from nurses’ unions, who felt their profession could be threatened.

In 2015 Nigeria approved a task-shifting policy that would authorize trained community health workers to provide long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). To jumpstart the process, FP2020 awarded an RRM grant to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) for a pilot project. CHAI trained 290 community health workers on LARCs in three states, and successfully demonstrated to national stakeholders that task-shifting had no effect on the role of traditional providers such as nurses and doctors.

A year later FP2020 awarded a second grant, this time to Marie Stopes Nigeria, to train 60 health extension workers on LARCs and build a pool of competent master trainers in five states.

In 2017 the FP2020 focal points in Nigeria confirmed that the task-shifting policy had been deemed a success, and that the government was following through on its 2012 commitment to invest additional resources in training.


Vietnam joined the FP2020 partnership in 2016 with a commitment to ensure universal family planning access and youth-friendly services. An RRM grant to Pathfinder International is supporting technical assistance to the Government of Vietnam to develop a costed implementation plan. Another RRM grant, to UNFPA, is underway to provide family planning services to young migrant workers—one of the priorities outlined in Vietnam’s FP2020 commitment. A third RRM grant, to the Vietnam Public Health Association, supported 15 youth representatives to develop a youth recommendation brief and to host and facilitate discussions at the 9th Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.