World Health Organization data show that every day approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Organizations around the world are working to empower community leaders to change policy and practice to improve families’ health and save women’s lives.
Over the last decade, the Institute of International Education West Coast Center helped develop and sustain more than 1,200 leaders making systemic improvements in family planning and reproductive health services in countries with the greatest need: Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.
In partnership with the IIE West Coast Center and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, RCLA conducted an evaluation of the Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health Program using Participatory Action Research methodologies.
The evaluation included fellows, stakeholders and staff across five countries in gathering and making sense of the data and their collective experiences. The final report documents dramatic increases in fellows’ knowledge, skills and confidence; enhanced organizational and community capacity for action; and shifts in policy formation and implementation.
One of the most significant findings is the critical importance of fostering collaboration and networks, particularly among people in different fields – from journalists to religious leaders – for making systemic changes to drastically improve the lives of vulnerable women, youth and families.
RCLA conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Institute of International Education West Coast Center’s Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health (LDM) program using a Participatory Action Research methodology. The final report Executive Summary provides highlights of findings including the country contexts in which the program operated, an evaluation of effectiveness at the individual, organizational and systems levels, insights into program implementation, reflections on the evaluation methodology itself, and lessons learned and best practices that can be leveraged for global public health and leadership programs across the field.
Read the Executive Summary
From 2000 to 2010, the Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health Program (LDM), sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, supported more than 1,200 emerging and established leaders with the vision and commitment to improve family planning and reproductive health (RH) services in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Leadership Fellows were public health professionals, journalists, Islamic scholars, academics, lawyers, community health workers, doctors, nurses and government employees and they lead nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and public sector departments as advocates for strong, protective reproductive health policies. They focused on a wide spectrum of issues, including: community-level family planning services, HIV/AIDS prevention, and youth empowerment. The LDM program was based on the belief that collective leadership can be a powerful agent for making lasting, systemic change.