Is Evidence Essential to Policy Change? The Advance Family Planning Case Study

Beth Fredrick, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

This case study of one multi-year advocacy initiative, Advance Family Planning (AFP), examines the elements involved in effective persuasion of decision-makers to prioritize an issue, invest in addressing it and use their stature to persuade others. It places use of evidence in the context of other equally important dimensions of advocacy: local ownership; a policymaker focus; leveraging prior investments and policy commitments; integration of Southern leadership and expertise; adaptation from M&E, and sustainability. Lead by the Gates Institute of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and executed in partnership with NGOs, international agencies, donors and national and sub-national governments, AFP worked intensively in Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda. This case study examines the significance of evidence in decisions related to resource allocation, regulatory barriers and transformation of societal norms. It aims to use past experience to inform fulfillment of commitments made at the July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.

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Presented in Session 26: Demography, Development and Democracy