WPF makes annual grants to Australian-registered Deductible Grant Recipient non-government organisations concentrating on the Asia Pacific region. Our partners are committed to enabling access to family planning services, to working with local staff in overseas program areas, respecting the local cultures and are open in their planning and reporting.
Programs being funded in 2017-18 are in PNG, Timor Leste and Cambodia. Programs being funded in 2018-19 are in PNG, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Lao. In 2018-19 WPF's grants total $110,000.
Download our Funding guidelines for proposals for WPF Grants 2018
Our current grant recipient partners are:
These impressive organisations are accredited by AusAID, now a part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is hoped that AusAID’s focus on reproductive health will continue in areas where men’s views of ownership of women make continual childbearing a default setting for the woman’s role. Violence in gender relationships, or virility measured by the number of children, create barriers to women’s entry to health clinics where rapid population increase is perpetuating poverty. The proportion of the reproductive health allocation expended on behavioural programs for men as a prelude to reaching women and making contraception possible, means that existing levels of funding may not provide sufficient rural and urban family planning for a sustainable society.
Since inception in 2004, Women’s Plans Foundation has focused on programs that directly bring family planning to women who lack it. Early grants supported a variety of projects to increase awareness and availability of modern methods of contraception.
CARE Australia is a leading international humanitarian aid organisation fighting global poverty. CARE puts women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and education.CARE Australia is a leading international aid agency dedicated to ending poverty, saving lives, and creating a more equal world. CARE places women and girls at the centre of its approach, because when inequality is tackled, long-term lasting change is possible. CARE Australia works in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
Women’s Plans Foundation is supporting CARE’s work in Asia, specifically in Timor-Leste.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Timor-Leste
The use of modern family planning methods remains low with the overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate for Timor-Leste now at 26%. Use of modern contraceptive methods has increased from 13% to 24%. Having too many children too close together is a significant health risk for mothers and babies. Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world (215 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the UNFPA report, State of the World Population 2016).
While the use of modern family planning methods remains low, women are beginning to take precautions and through CARE’s Safe Motherhood Project are becoming aware of family planning options.
Personal cultural beliefs and behaviours in Timor-Leste influence the family planning choices that women make. More than half the mothers in the 47 hamlets within the 5 villages in which CARE works say their husbands play a strong role in family planning decisions, and many also note the significant influence of mothers-in-law over birthing practices.
These influences can prevent a woman from having control over her own fertility and family planning. She can be prevented from having a say in how many children she has, or how far apart she has them. This will take time to change, as it is very strongly embedded in culture.
CARE Australia is working hard alongside its partners and local leaders to address these barriers by delivering strategic activities that aim to improve reproductive and maternal health of mothers and their babies.
How Women’s Plans Foundation is helping to meet these needs
Women’s Plans Foundation is supporting CARE’s Safe Motherhood Project Phase 2 in Timor-Leste. The goal of the Safe Motherhood Project is to reduce maternal mortality rates by improving the harmful attitudes and behaviours of the community towards maternal health, fertility and family planning across two provinces, Covalima and Ermera.
Women’s Plans Foundation is supporting the vital family planning and education component of this project delivered through Mother Caring Groups and Father Support Groups, continuing the support given in 2017-18. These groups, conducted in 47 hamlets in Timor-Leste are expected to directly reach more than 700 women of reproductive age and around 800 fathers and other men. The groups will also reach around 500 girls and boys and will involve community leaders and healthcare workers. Through the extended hamlets, the Safe Motherhood Project is expected to indirectly reach more than 46,000 women.
By participating in these groups:
* women, men, girls and boys will develop a better understanding of the benefits of family planning and
* women will have greater involvement in making family planning decisions through a better understanding of the need for more equal gender roles.
The quality of health services will improve through:·
* improved relationship and feedback mechanisms between communities and service providers,
* improved ability of communities to identify, analyse and resolve social and cultural practices that negatively affect maternal health outcomes, and
* increased skills and commitment of service providers to respond to communities’ maternal health demands.
ChildFund Australia is an independent and non-religious international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in the developing world. It works in partnership with children and their communities to create lasting change by supporting long-term community development, responding to humanitarian emergencies and promoting children’s rights. We want every child to be able to say:
“I am safe. I am educated. I am heard. I can make a difference. I have a future.”
ChildFund Australia implements programs with a range of local partners in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, and manages projects delivered by partner organisations throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas. Its work is funded through child and community sponsorship, as well as public donations and government grants.
ChildFund Australia is a member of the ChildFund Alliance – a global network of 11 organisations which assists more than 13 million children and families in over 60 countries. ChildFund Australia is a registered charity and is fully accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Sexual and reproductive health needs in PNG
Women and children in Papua New Guinea (PNG) experience levels of gender-based violence estimated to be some of the highest in the world outside a conflict zone.
Studies have found that around two-thirds of women report intimate partner violence and over half report being forced to have sex against their will, mostly by known perpetrators.
In a 2013 study of adult males, 62% reported perpetrating some form of rape against a woman or girl in their lifetime, with nearly two-thirds doing so for the first time in their teens.
Children are affected by gender-based violence as both witnesses and survivors.
There is a lack of community knowledge about the fact that violence against women is a human rights abuse and against the law. There is also a lack of awareness about how to seek help.
There is a need to invest in primary prevention activities that help young people navigate sexual health and gender norms. Gender-based violence is largely driven by factors related to gender inequality, childhood experiences and the enactment of harmful forms of masculinity. These, along with a lack of basic knowledge, are the same drivers of negative sexual reproductive health outcomes such as high rates of early pregnancy and childbearing.
In 2017, Women’s Plans Foundation supported the development and delivery of the Sexual Health Rights and Respectful Relationships Education module for use in schools, with out of school youths and in communities.
The module is part of ChildFund’s Rights, Respect and Resilience project in PNG. The module aims to increase confidence, knowledge and skills to think critically about, address and seek help for gender, violence and sexual health issues.
WPF was delighted to see the progress that was made in 2017-18 in developing the resource, training teachers to use it, using the resource in schools and paving the way for its rollout in the community.
In 2018-19, WPF is funding further refinement of the module, which includes adapting it for use with out-of-school youth and in the community. Using the resource in this wider context will ensure that young people outside the reach of the school system have an increased understanding of sexual and reproductive health rights.
This project builds on ChildFund PNG’s existing work in schools and the provision of gender-based violence services in Central Province and the National Capital District including, among other things, a project that Women’s Plans Foundation supported in 2016: ChildFund‘s Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Services for Youth and their Communities.
Women’s Plans Foundation has also supported ChildFund projects in Vietnam for many years and in Laos and Myanmar more recently.
Marie Stopes International transforms the lives of women and girls by providing them with the reproductive choices they want, and where they are needed most.
For the past 40 years, MSI has delivered high quality and life-changing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning services through a range of service delivery models such as static specialised sexual and reproductive clinics and mobile outreach.
In 2017, it is estimated that 27 million women worldwide were using a method of contraception provided by Marie Stopes International. Family planning is a smart investment and one of the most cost-effective approaches to improving the health outcomes of individuals and communities:
As a member of the MSI global partnership, Marie Stopes International Australia supports programs in the Asia Pacific region. Read about their work here.
WPF’s emphasis on family planning is reflected in MSI’s mission to provide ‘Children by Choice, not Chance’ and is a key component of MSI’s work globally and in the Asia Pacific region. In 2018-19, WPF is supporting MSI’s work in Cambodia.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Cambodia
The Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Health, in partnership with non-government organisations and other civil society organisations have made a significant contribution to improvements in Cambodia’s maternal, reproductive, newborn and child health in the last five years. Through the implementation of the Ministry of Health’s Fast Track Initiative Road Map for Reducing Maternal and Newborn Mortality 2016-2020, the unmet contraceptive need has fallen amongst married women from 17% to 13% and the use of modern contraceptives has increased from 35% to 39% from 2010 to 2014. Despite this progress, there are significant portions of the population who still lack access to reproductive choice.
Cambodia is one of the youngest nations in Asia, with 20.6% of the population aged between 15-24 years old. Young people are disproportionately impacted by a lack of SRH services, facing socio-economic and cultural barriers to receiving information and services. The majority of young people in Cambodia live in peri-urban or rural areas (77%) making them difficult to reach and underserved by public health facilities. Rural youth are increasingly exposed to new cultural trends and digital media, yet their parents have difficulty sharing information on sexuality, often leading to risky sexual behaviour. As a result, one in eight adolescents (15-19 year olds) have given birth to, or are pregnant with their first child in Cambodia.
Young women - particularly peri-urban and rural young women – encounter multiple barriers to accessing SRH information and services including:
* Myths about contraceptive side effects and risks. Although 98% of women report having knowledge of at least one type of modern contraceptive method, the main reason women cited for non-use (aside from infertility) was health concerns.
* Limited knowledge of comprehensive contraceptive options. Most users of modern contraception in Cambodia choose short-term methods (e.g. pills or condoms) with only one in four women using a long-acting reversible contraceptive method (LARC).
* Stigma associated with seeking reproductive health information and services inhibit young women from contraception uptake. Ninety percent of sexually active young women in Cambodia are not currently using contraception.
* Socio and cultural barriers to family planning. Socio-cultural and economic barriers, coupled with a shortage of qualified providers prevent women and girls from seeking and using contraception.
How Women’s Plans Foundation is helping to meet these needs
In 2018-19, WPF is supporting MSIA to scale up, build on, and continue the youth-focused work it completed in 2017-18 in Cambodia. During that period, 7,301 young people aged 15-24 years (20% of whom were 15-19 years old) accessed services through Marie Stopes International Cambodia’s centres. This is a 43% increase from the year before.
In the 2018-2019 grant round, MSIA is continuing their work with young people in Cambodia to decrease the barriers to access and increase uptake of contraceptive services, focusing especially on young people in peri-urban and rural areas who encounter multiple barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services.
The two main strategies are:
Both of these strategies include activities to reach garment factory workers as a means of expanding access to young people. The main industry Cambodia relies on for economic growth is the garment industry, with women making up an estimated 90% of a 700,000 strong workforce. In some areas of Cambodia, including the outskirts of Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu, there are large populations of young people working in the manufacturing industry. Specifically, people under 24 years old, who are often internal migrants from rural areas with low levels of education, make up most the workforce in garment factories in these areas.
The project as a whole aims to contribute to 207 Couple Year’s Protection. Using the MSI Impact calculator, the estimated overall project impact is:
Australian Doctors International (ADI) is a not-for-profit charity specialising in Integrated Health Patrols and health in-services, deploying volunteer doctors and health coordinators to work in partnership with local government, private companies and faith-based health providers to deliver unique value through the three-way combination of:
During 2016 Australian Doctors International (ADI) took considerable steps to increase its focus on maternal and child health. In doing so they are applying international standards that align closely with WPF’s principles, namely that:·
In 2017 WPF was delighted to welcome ADI to its group of funded partners. Its WPF funded work is in New Ireland Province in PNG.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in PNG
As context for its engagement in PNG, ADI provided the following “key PNG data:
* 1990-2015 PNG’s contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) has increased from 25% to 37%, representing a 1.5% increase per annum. A very low CPR by world standards.
* 1990-2015 PNG’s unmet need for family planning has declined only very slightly from 29% to 25%, 0.6% drop per annum.
* 1990-2015 PNG’s proportion of demand for contraception satisfied among women 15-49 married or in union, rose from 47% to 60% over the period.
This suggests there remains much need and demand for family planning choices in PNG.”
In New Ireland Province in particular the information “from 2015 identifies education and knowledge as a key gap across the different groups; women, men, non-married couples, adolescents and health workers. Knowledge gaps include:
* from women and couples on their planned family size,
* from both health workers and communities on modern family planning methods, and their reproductive rights,
* misinformation and myths on family planning, and
* incongruent information between men and women on the topic of family planning.”
How Women’s Plans Foundation is helping to meet these needs
During 2017-18, with funds from WPF and in partnership with Marie Stopes International PNG (another WPF partner), ADI conducted family planning in-service training for rural health care workers across New Ireland Province and provided ongoing and follow-up support to remote health care workers by including a family planning officer in 14 of its 17 outreach patrols.
During these visits to rural and remote aid posts, many women and couples attended family planning consultations and were able to receive counselling and access to modern family planning options. In addition, the family planning officer gave education sessions at remote locations including 24 schools and 102 villages, increasing awareness and understanding of family planning in the communities. Having a family planning officer regularly on patrol raised the general knowledge, value and importance of family planning across the whole allied health patrol team – a spin-off benefit.
Through outreach patrol visits in 2017-18, the following contraception was provided:
* 146 women had implants inserted, totalling 555 Couple Years of Protection (CYP) (assuming all devices used were Jadelle)
* 30 women received depo injections, totalling 7.5 CYP (assuming only one 3 month injection given)
* 216 couples received condoms, totalling 108 CYP (assuming each couple given 60 condoms)
* 10 women received the oral contraceptive pill, totalling 5 CYP (assuming each women given six months’ supply)
* 11 women were counselled and referred for tubal ligations, totalling 110 CYP (assuming referrals resulted in sterilisation)
* 2 men were counselled and referred for vasectomies, totalling 20 CYP (assuming referrals resulted in sterilisation)
In 2017, ADI contributed to 805 Couple Years Protection through both direct and indirect activities via its patrols. ADI’s reach into the remote parts of New Ireland means these CYP results would not have occurred without ADI’s input and the financial support of family planning donors, such as WPF.
In 2018-19 WPF is funding ADI to continue to provide in-service training and community education that it has been undertaking in New Ireland Province and to commence work in an additional province, most likely West New Britain.
As part of its ongoing commitment to family planning, ADI now has a Family Planning Project Advisor based in the Sydney office; and a PNG National Maternal Health and Family Planning Officer based in Kavieng, New Ireland.
Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children. In Australia and around the world it gives a powerful voice to children and champions their rights. Save the Children Australia has programs in 31 countries and supports millions of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable children and young people around the world. Women’s Plans Foundation is supporting the work of Save the Children in Lao.
The Lao Social Indicator Survey of 2012 indicated that only 32% of married women were using a modern method of contraception and there was an unmet need of 20% for family planning. Furthermore, 19% of women had a live birth before the age of 18 years. The figures were even higher among young women in rural districts. Early childbearing increases the risks for both mothers and their newborns, and also limits education and employment opportunities for women and girls.
‘Reaching the Children Left Behind: Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition Project’ (RMNCH) is a 4 year project that commenced in July 2017 and is part of a broader Primary Health Care program operating in two provinces and 16 districts of Northern Lao People’s Democratic Republic since 1992.
The project’s overall goal is to:
The Women’s Plans Foundation contribution is going towards the family planning component as part of the wider program. One of the project’s objectives is that 70% of women of reproductive age in the project sites use a modern contraception method.
With Women’s Plans Foundation support the program plans to introduce adolescent -friendly RMNCH services. The Partnership Defined Quality of Services – Adolescents (PDQ-A) is a Save the Children technical approach for participatory design in improving the quality of adolescent health care services. Capacity building, supportive supervision and development of job aids and communication materials will also be part of the intervention. Save the Children uses a multi-pronged approach in recognition of the fact that complex issues such as reproductive and adolescent health demand a greater focus on social and behaviour change to address social norms and traditional practices.
The expected number of family planning direct beneficiaries of the project is around 19,000 people including primary target groups (pregnant women or those with newborn babies, women of reproductive age and adolescent mothers aged 15-19) and secondary target groups (district health staff, Community Health volunteers and community leaders).