Country reports

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo presented a Programme of Action (PoA), which pledged to achieve the goal of universal access to reproductive health services by 2015. With less than four years left to achieve the ICPD PoA and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a number of countries have been identified as not being on track to meet the SRH-related targets. More importantly, stagnant levels of funding have not kept pace with growing needs in developing countries, fueled by a growing number of women of reproductive age and high levels of unmet need for family planning.

National and international organizations are examining how efforts to achieve the MDGs and related targets can be made more effective. One way is to improve understanding and management of competing financial resources for health. Decision-makers need to know whether their country has adequate resources to achieve its SRH-related health goals. In case of a funding gap, would external resources be able to bridge this gap? Furthermore, an understanding of resource allocation and whether funding is earmarked for SRH is useful information for decision-makers.

Looking at the challenges and needs, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with NIDI, endeavors to strengthen the institutionalization of country-owned systems to produce periodic reports that compare the need for SRH funding at country level with the allocation of resources (domestic and external); actual expenditure and distribution of resources; as well as projected availability of resources (domestic and external) in the years ahead. Initially, an attempt is made to conduct this exercise in two countries i.e. Bangladesh and Kenya, with specific interest to see the similarities and differences in their health system to manage funding for reproductive health.