Reproductive Health

A Conversation about Supporting Local Advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa

January 16, 2020  • Julie Tumbo, Coumba Toure, Althea Anderson & David Devlin-Foltz

In 2016, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation launched a new grant-making strategy to support advocacy for access to family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) services in Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal: support vibrant African organizations able to positively influence their government’s FPRH policies and funding decisions. The strategy seeks to shift power towards the local civil society organizations (CSOs) doing the advocacy work and to strengthen their capacity to advocate. During the first five years of the strategy’s implementation, the Foundation is working with the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program (APEP) to assess and learn from the experience of its grantees and the CSOs they support. (Findings from the first two years of evaluation activity are summarized in this midterm report.)  

This series of five brief videos features Hewlett Foundation program officer Althea Anderson and three members of the APEP team: David Devlin-Foltz, Julie Tumbo, and Coumba Toure.  Each video describes one of the five principles underlying the Foundation’s approach to supporting local FPRH  advocacy and each includes a lively conversation between Tumbo and Toure about how the principle is lived out – or not – in practice, based on their decades of civil society engagement. The Foundation and the APEP team thank Senegalese videographer Tidiane Oumar Ba for producing the series in Saly, Senegal, in October 2019.

The videos are also available with French subtitles HERE.