PSDA meets in Ethiopia to strategize on post-2015November 18, 2013
The Population and Sustainable Development Alliance (PSDA) came together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week for a series of events held prior to the International Conference on Family Planning: a PSDA Members Meeting and Post-2015 workshop, a PHE field trip and the International PHE Conference.
Members’ meeting and post-2015 workshop
The PSDA members’ meeting and workshop, held on Saturday 9th November, brought together alliance members and a number of other civil society organisations to share information and strategize about influencing the Sustainable Development Goals process and next international development agenda.
Key reflections included:
We were pleased to welcome both new and old friends of the alliance, and look forward to collaborating further to achieve the goal of integrating population dynamics and sexual and reproductive health and rights into the post-2015 framework.
PHE Field trip
On Sunday 10th November, PSDA and additional select participants took part in a field trip to the town and area of Wolkite in South West Ethiopia.
The field trip, hosted by PSDA member PHE Ethiopia Consortium, visited a Population Health Environment (PHE) Programme led by the Guraghe People’s Self-Help Development Organization (GPSDO).
The trip provided a valuable opportunity not only to meet project staff, including volunteer health workers and beneficiaries, but also to see at first hand the integrated health, developmental and environmental aspects of the project, and their complementary impacts.
Participants had the opportunity to meet with volunteer community health workers and women and men from the communities they serve. As a result of these community-based methods of providing family planning information and services, significantly higher contraceptive prevalence has been recorded in communities where the project operates.
Alongside this work, the project is providing conservation training to communities and rehabilitating highly degraded land in the region. A visit was also paid to a local school in the community which was in danger of collapse as a nearby gorge was encroaching on the school due to land degradation. Thanks to the project, students at the school have been able to be actively involved in averting the school’s collapse through the implementation of sound environmental conservation practices, including terracing and tree planting. This has taken place as part of a student club facilitated by the project, which also works to empower pupils at the school through information, education and services relating to sexual and reproductive health and discussions and activities to promote gender equality.
The trip proved an inspiring opportunity to see PHE approaches in action, leaving participants in eager anticipation of the International PHE conference beginning the following day.
International PHE Conference
On Monday 11th November, PSN’s Coordinator, Karen Newman, gave a presentation on behalf of PSDA at the International Population, Health, and Environment Conference 2013.
The presentation, entitled The sustainable development goal process: Why PHE is relevant, and how to link with the process effectively, generated much interest from delegates keen to ensure that the opportunities that PHE awards to promote sustainability are seized in the post-2015 agenda. This was a discussion that PSDA continued later on in the week at a side-event at the International Conference on Family Planning 2013.
The conference brought together PHE advocates and implementers from across the world. A number of PSDA members participated in the conference, which was co-organised by Population Reference Bureau and PSDA member PHE Ethiopia Consortium.
Read about PSDA’s further event in Addis Ababa on integrated approaches and the post-2015 framework, at the International Conference on Family Planning.