Giving Compass' Take:

• Dr. Yasmeen Qazi, Senior Country Advisor for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health program in Pakistan, discusses the challenges and successes of the past two decades.

• What can other organizations in the family planning space learn from Dr. Qazi's observations? One big takeaway is that the path to scale relies on strong partnerships.

• Here's more on how we can make family planning a reality for all.

When we began, there was low funding, policy barriers, and lack of attention to reproductive health issues. The challenge of initiating work on abortion led us to fund new research on the incidence of unsafe abortion through the Population Council. This research facilitated grantee Ipas’ entry into the country to provide safe post-abortion care technologies and led to the creation of the first of its kind alliance, the Pakistan Alliance on Post-Abortion Care. Ipas went on to lead major changes in health policy around post-abortion care, including the adoption of improved technologies and guidelines. In addition, Marie Stopes Society demonstrated models for quality post-abortion care and family planning services at scale.

Another challenge was the ability to meaningfully address the sexual and reproductive health of young people. Early support to newly-formed Aahung introduced Life Skills-Based Education to school curriculum and sought to change the pre-service curriculum of medical and nursing schools. Aahung is now a leading organization in the field and was invited by the Sindh province government to introduce Life Skills-Based Education in all public schools. Later, Rutgers invested in young girls’ leadership in rural areas of Sindh. Their “Kirans”, which means “rays” in Urdu, are girls 16-19 years of age that are trained to sensitize communities against early marriage and advocate for girls to stay in school. Rutgers and other grantees led an advocacy movement resulting in a new law restricting marriages below the age of 18 in Sindh.

Read the full article about family planning and reproductive health in Pakistan by Dr. Yasmeen Qazi at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.