Advocacy is a process of creating support, building consensus, and fostering a favourable and supportive environment through a set of well-planned actions undertaken by individuals or organisations working for a cause or issue. Civil society organisations like FPA India and other individual entities encourage the government to act in public interest by adopting and implementing positive policies, programmes, and budgets with respect to SRH.
FPA India has been participating in state, regional and national level meetings to discuss and review SDGs and post 2015 development agenda.Through advocacy, FPA India has been able to mobilise support andresources for sexual and reproductive health and rights in India.Advocacy has helped the Association to buildpartnerships andincrease the number of volunteers and ‘friends’ working withthem through Branches and Projects.
We relentlessly advocate for realising the health rights of people, especially the poor and vulnerable with key stakeholders. Sexual rights are human rights. Through strategic partnerships and coalitions we bring in policy level changes.
FPA India’s formal partnerships and networks have been gradually increasing.The Association has continued to promote SRHR for all withdifferent ‘actors’. Sensitisation meetings helped in buildingpartnerships and network with other agencies.
FPA India India worked with the MPsand key influencers to establish amechanism for initiating actionon the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at country level, ensuring greater ownership andaccountability.
FPA India participated in the India advocacy group to discuss goal 5 – Gender equality and indicators, in August 2015.FPA India representative spoke on including anindicator to address stigma and the need to define and include the indicators on unmet need forcontraception for adolescents and single women, comprehensives sexuality education foryoung people in schools and out of school and access to SRH services.
Over the course of the year FPA India advocated for including of SRHR as priorities in the national development agenda. This was made possible by creating and convening advocacy meetings which included interface between NGOs and minsters and government department (such as on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Adolescent Education Program+), continuing advocacy on expanding the basket of contraceptive choices (through ARC and ICMR) and undertaking public campaigns.
Secondly, at the global level FPA India ensured that voices of youth were heard in global advocacy forums through its youth CEC members, contributing in SRHR advocacy issues in various conferences and meetings.At the grassroots level FPA India branches across the country organized sensitisation meeting with stakeholders like MPs and MLA’s, Panchayati Raj Institutions, religious, and state and district government officials and media, principals, teachers and parents.
FPA India’s special projects helped implement projects related to comprehensive sexuality education sessions in schools, use of participatory communication approaches (street plays etc.) to reach; larger populations, demonstrating the need to increase financial allocation for family planning programmes.
Eight advocacy factsheets were developed onvarious SRH issues. FPA India in collaborationwith Citizen News Service (CNS) organisedmeetings with media representatives in India.
The eight factsheets developed by FPA India are–
Advocating for AEP+
FPA India organized an Advocacy Meeting “Advancing Commitment- Adolescent Education Program+” with 700 participants in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. CEC Members, school/college students, professors, NGOs representatives, teachers, principals and other stakeholders attended the meeting. At the meeting, Shri Bhupendra Singh Chudasma, Education Minister of Gujarat expressed his willingness to support AEP+. He appreciated the work of FPA India and its activities for young people. The module Growing Up is Fun was also handed over to him during the meeting.
European Parliamentary Forum Visit India
The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) is based in Brussels and is a network of members of parliaments from all across Europe. The Forum is committed to protecting the SRH of the most vulnerable people around the world. Members of the EPF conducted a study tour of India to examine issues related to – and offer both interim and long term solutions for – Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH). The EPF team included Member of Parliament (MP) from Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and senior policy officials from EPF.
Advocating Reproductive Choices (ARC)
FPA India has remained the core member of the steering committee of ARC - the Secretariat of which is currently being hosted in Population Foundation of India. ARC discussions focused on (a) State Level Advocacy Plans (Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh); (b) expansion of core group and operational guidelines. It was decided to establish a task force for looking into the National FP budget and advocating for increase or reallocation of funds.
Evidence Based Advocacy to Expand Basket of Choices in Madhya Pradesh
FPA India received a one year grant support from Population Foundation of India on family planning with focus on Bhopal branch. The broad activities of the project include review of family planning, operation research to roll out injectables and meeting with key opinion leaders – MPs/MLAs, Government officials, CSOs and media.
Global Day of Action – May 18, 2016 - Know It, Own It!
IPPF has designated May 18th as the IPPF Global Day of Action, on the theme ‘Know it, Own it’. Through the Global Day of Action, IPPF is focusing on “Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth rights”. All branches of FPA India undertook the campaign with the tag line “Your Sexual Rights Matter or Your Sexual Health Matters”.
FPA India staff participated in the following.