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 2020-21 are in PNG, Lao PDR and Cambodia. In 2020-21 WPF's grants total $115,000.
Download our Funding guidelines for proposals for WPF Grants 2020
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 aid agency dedicated to ending poverty, saving lives, and creating a more equal world. CARE puts women and girls at the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and education. In 2019, CARE worked in 100 countries.
Women's Plans is supporting CARE's work in Papua New Guinea (PNG), specifically the Mamayo Project in Lufa District of the Eastern Highlands Province. The goal of the project is to increase the uptake of family planning and improve the reproductive and maternal health and wellbeing of women, their families and communities in rural, disadvantaged areas of PNG by promoting gender equitable relations and decision making.
Women’s Plans Foundation is supporting CARE’s work in Asia, specifically in Timor-Leste.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in PNG
Women in PNG face formidable barriers to accessing the reproductive and maternal health care they need to thrive. Only 34% of women use contraception and an estimated 40% of women give birth outside of a hospital or health centre. In PNG, men get the final say over if and when a women in their family gets contraception, attends antenatal care, or goes to a clinic to give birth and this can lead to delays, or even prevent, women seeking treatment.
Discussion of women's health remains taboo in remote PNG, meaning knowledge of contraception, birth and prenatal and postnatal care is low. This lack of knowledge means that women and their families can be unaware of available health services, or unable or unwilling to access these services because they do not have the support of their husband.
In rural areas of PNG, women's choices about fertility and reproduction are also mainly made by their husbands. Although PNG law gives women the legal right to access long-lasting and permanent contraceptives on their own, many PNG health workers still insist on a male family member's consent before providing a woman with services such as tubal ligation.
An ill-equipped health system and remote mountainous landscape means reproductive and maternal health information and resources are out of reach for many women in PNG. Without quality healthcare and community support, women in rural areas have a one in 20 chance of dying in pregnancy or during childbirth.
How Women's Plans Foundation is helping to meet these needs
This is the second year for which Women's Plans Foundation has provided funding to this project. The Women's Plans Foundation grant will be used to support the activities of Barola Haus Mama who support project implementation in one of the districts (Lufa District in Eastern Highland province). Barola Haus Mama is a local community-based organisation that operates a maternal and child health clinic and also runs health education, immunisation and maternal and antenatal programs.
In 2020-21, Women's Plans Foundation is funding Barola Haus Mama to:
Train community leaders and couples on family planning and equitable decision-making
on various issues within the home such as family finances and the family planning and seeking maternal child health services.
Train and mentor Village Health Volunteers (VHVs) who will conduct health education and awareness on maternal and child health services, including family planning, intimate partner violence and health facility delivery. VHVs will also facilitate referrals of women from their communities to the health facility where they can access health services and contraceptives.
Conduct integrated maternal health outreach patrols which requires driving into remote communities and discussing family planning, antenatal care and immunisation, and also distributing contraceptives to families.
Train health care staff to perform non-scalpel vasectomies.
Village Health Volunteers, trained by the project provide reproductive and maternal health knowledge and information to women, men and their communities. They also facilitate access to contraceptive services provided by others such as International Maternal and Child Health Patrols. A case study of the activities and outcomes of one of the Village Health Volunteers illustrates how these processes can work.
While many of the project's activities are focused on capacity building, community education, and facilitating access to contraceptive services provided by others, the project also directly provides some contraceptive services. In the first half year of Women's Plans Foundation funding (July 2019-December 2019) through the project contraceptive implants were accessed by 75 women and five school aged girls (with parental consent); seven men received non-scalpel vasectomy; four couples undertook couples counselling for Family Planning.
Nancy John is 37 years old and lives in Lufa District, Eastern Highlands province. She is married and lives with her husband and three children.
Nancy is Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) women's ministry coordinator in Unavi local-level government. She was chosen by her community to be trained as a Village Health Volunteer. Nancy is working to increase awareness of family planning within her community.
As part of her action plan, Nancy spoke to the community about the issues faced by women becoming pregnant outside of marriage, including the impact for the child and their family. She also brought attention to the issue of unsafe abortions that women have to avoid being labelled "second hand". Through this awareness she identified more than 11 couples and many young unmarried women, including a few school-aged girls, in her community who wanted contraceptives.
In October of 2019, the project supported the Lufa district health centre to include family planning. This ensures that there are no repercussions from the family from women accessing contraceptives on their own.
During this IMCH patrol, 80 women over 18 years, and five girls under 18 received contraceptive implants and seven men chose to have a vasectomy. This is a direct result of the 31 community leaders and 41 Village Health Volunteers trained by the project to implement action plans to increase the uptake of contraceptives in the community.
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, Timor-Leste 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.
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 lack of basic knowledge, are the same drivers of negative sexual reproductive health outcomes such as high rates of early pregnancy and childbearing. 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.
The challenge for young people in PNG is that neither the formal education system, nor informal sources, are adequately preparing them with the skills to manage relationship issues and the kind of tensions they experience in day to day life. Youth spoken to in focus groups felt a desperate need for "more awareness and skills", especially those related to family violence, peer pressure and sexual and reproductive health. Cultural beliefs, traditional taboos, low literacy levels and lack of knowledge often prevent parents and elders from talking issues such as sexual and reproductive health.
Education can make a difference. Through well-taught education programs (delivered in and out of school), young people can learn about themselves and develop knowledge and skills that will help them to interact with others in healthy, positive, respectful and supportive ways.
While it takes time to change attitudes, practices and social norms, there is now strong evidence informing the development of educational interventions that work. Comprehensive education is a key intervention. Supplementing this, young people need to receive support and feedback to increase people's sense of individual and collective efficacy. Change needs to sit within a nurturing, supportive asocial environment where positive social and personal norms are promoted and condoned.
During the first half of 2019-20, progress was made towards these objectives in the following ways. A further 28 personal development teachers in 8 schools were trained to teach the Rights, Respect and Resilience Learning Resource Material (LRM) covering ten topics including healthy relationships, understanding consent, gender-based violence, family planning and contraception, alcohol and peer pressure, and seeking helping. Teachers conducted classes two to three times per week and employed participatory methods including role play and group work to meaningfully engage students. A total of 2,467 students (1,108 females, 1,359 males) were taught the curriculum. ChildFund PNG project staff conducted classroom observations across these schools to ensure both LRM fidelity and that consistent teaching schedules are maintained.
The piloting of the program is nearing completion and this year’s funding from Women’s Plans Foundation will assist ChildFund to build on the lessons learnt over the last three years and continue to deliver education promoting sexual and reproductive health rights and respectful, non-violent and equitable relationships to reduce gender based violence in PNG.
To date, funding from Women’s Plans Foundation has assisted with the development of curriculum modules for use in secondary schools and with out of school youth, training of teachers and peer educators to deliver the curriculum, and the delivery of the curriculum in schools and with out of school youth. This year the funds will be used for a range of activities to train young women and men both in school and out of school as peer educators to deliver the curriculum and lead follow-on activities to drive positive changes in their communities.
2020-21 is the fourth ear for funding for ChildFund's Rights, Respect and Resilience (RRR) project. The objectives of this project are that over time and anticipated 12,204 (male = 6878; female = 5326) students from 17 secondary schools and 1000 out-of-school youth from three communities in Central Province and the National Capital District, Papua New Guinea, will have increased social and emotional skills to build better, safer futures and act for positive change. Students and out of school youth will participate in RRR training and activities to increase their confidence, knowledge and skills to think critically about, address and seek help around gender, violence and sexual health issues.
Marie Stopes International Australia is the support office for Marie Stopes International in the Asia-Pacific region, running programs in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. MSI transforms the lives of women and girls all over the world 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.
As of 31 December 2019, there are 32 million women using a method of contraception provided by MSI. That's 32 million women who have been able to make choices about their own bodies and their own futures. To put this number into context, if these women stood side by side on the equator, they would form a human chain that would reach around the world. In 2019 alone, MSI provided 14 million people with contraception,safe abortion or post-abortion care services. Our numbers show that we are meeting the family planning demand for one in five women in the countries that we work in. Family planning is a smart investment and one of the most cost-effective approaches to improving the health outcomes of individuals and communities. ·
Every dollar spent on family planning can produce up to 120 dollars of social, economic and environmental benefits**Data taken from the Copenhagen Consensus Center.
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. Since 2017, WPF has been supporting MSI’s work in Cambodia and prior to that work in PNG.
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 and the use of modern contraceptives has increased. 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 fewer 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
Over the last three years Women’s Plans Foundation has been funding Marie Stopes International to deliver awareness raising and referral services in rural Cambodia and with workers in the garment industry, most of whom are young females. Much has been achieved over that time. For example, during the first half of the 2019-20 funding year, a total of 4,220 adolescents,including garment factory workers, received access to comprehensive information and education on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), including contraception, through various activities like a ‘Mobile Chatbox’ and 23 group discussions.They also receive SRH from Marie Stopes Ladies located in Banteay Meanchey, Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Cham, Tbung Khmum. Improved access to SRH information and services is also provided through Facebook, Marie Stopes Contact Centre, MS Ladies and Adolescent Discount Cards.
During that six month period alone, MSIC recruited and trained 145 community mobilisers from Tbung Khmum, Kampong Cham, Banteay Meanchey, and Sihanoukville. The mobilisers learned about Marie Stopes Ladies, MSIC contact centre, and SRH/FP services. MSIC also provided training on communication skills and values clarifications towards young people accessing SRH services. They received materials for distribution, job aids, branded shirts, and caps to reach out to young people.They also supported the project team to deliver community-based activities,including mobile ‘chat box’ and group discussions. During the reporting period,the mobilisers have referred 652 clients to MS Ladies facilities.
Starting in 2020-21, Women’s Plans Foundation is funding an exciting new MSIC project working with at risk and vulnerable youth (women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24) in Phnom Penh, accessing this subgroup by working in partnership with two organisations that are already supporting this subgroup and have established connections with members of it: Auscam Freedom Project (ACFP) and Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE). The project will also be building the capacity of those organisations to better support young women and girls in their sexual and reproductive health, including through referral to Marie Stopes Contact Centres that provide contraceptive and other SRH services.
This project is responding to the finding that health knowledge and indicators show strong disparities across the youth population. Rural-to-urban migration in search of employment and education is common among young Cambodians. Being exposed to a wide range of physical and mental health problems, lack of access to basic needs, isolation and dangers like sexual exploitation - street children, orphans and young rural-to-urban migrants are among the most vulnerable groups.
The project has the following two main objectives:
Australian Doctors International (ADI) is an Australian NGO registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission; a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). ADI is governed by a Board and a suite of governance committees (Risk and Compliance, Finance and Audit, Revenue, Program) and people fill these roles on a volunteer basis.
Presently ADI delivers health services and health training in rural PNG, in New Ireland since 2011; in Western Province since 2001, and more recently in West New Britain. ADI targets our activities towards women in remote and rural communities where access to accurate information, services and contraceptives are limited.
We work on a multi-pronged approach to improve maternal health, working to impact on both supply and demand for family planning. As outlined below, we seek to promote community demand through our work in:·
*Family planning:educating communities to have accessible and accurate information and services in family planning methods and ensuring health workers are equipped with knowledge and skills to provide these services·
*Gender equity: raising awareness to both community members and community leaders, promoting gender equality and the importance of reproductive rights for women· *Emergency obstetrics response: training health workers with the knowledge and clinical skills to respond to obstetric situations, thus bettering women’s health.
Additionally, we work to ensure supply lines are open through educating health workers in family planning is offered.
Women’s Plans Foundation contribution goes towards our family planning activities and supports one of the many ways ADI is working to improve the status of women’s lives in Papua New Guinea.
Highlights from ADI's family planning work in 2019 include:
ADI’s outreach patrol team continue to visit rural communities across New Ireland, providing family planning services and reproductive health education for health workers and community members.
ADI aims to have a family planning officer present on all New Ireland outreach health patrols to offer family planning options to communities across the province.
During ADI’s patrol visits to rural and remote health facilities, many women and couples attended family planning consultations (see numbers below) to receive counselling and access to modern family planning options.
Including a family planning officer and a gender equity officer regularly as part of the patrol team raises the general knowledge, value and importance of family planning across the whole allied health patrol team. In areas where a local family planning officer is already present, ADI provides a supervisory and supportive role.
In 2019, ADI's outreach health patrols provided the following to women in rural communities:
* 295 individuals had counselling on contraceptive methods.
* 91 women had implants inserted.
* 31 women received depo injections.
* 6 couples received condoms.
* 9 women received the oral contraceptive pill.
ADI’s patrol team delivers education thousands of individual community members on family planning, sexual and reproductive health.
In addition to delivering clinical services, the patrol team also provide local health workers with onsite training on requested topics. In 2019, over eight hours of case-based training which focused specifically on family planning was delivered locally to health workers. This training included reviewing correct implant insertion techniques and training on contraceptive counselling.
Community Educators training
ADI is conducting Community Educator’s in three rural communities in New Ireland. The training is aimed at initiating community-wide change to negative attitudes on family planning. By educating influential community members on the importance of family planning and on how to address myths and misconceptions, they can pass this information on to other community members, creating acceptance and demand for family planning methods. More than six months after the initial training was conducted, ADI’s National Maternal Health and Family Planning Coordinator revisited these communities to assess the impact of the training. This follow-up found that the Community Educator’s training changed views and attitudes towards family planning. Results from the surveys indicated that the majority of participants reported a change in views and attitudes, particularly on the importance of birth spacing. Over 80% of the participants followed up reported that since the training they had conducted awareness sessions or shared family planning information with other members of their community.
Gender Equity Program
Through deliveringcommunity education on gender equity during outreach health patrols, ADI hasrealised that it was also essential to train community leaders and key decisionmakers in order to initiate and maintain community-wide change on gender issuesand increaseunity capacity. n 2019, ADI’s GenderEquity Coordinator, introduced the program’s first Community MobilisationTraining (CMT) to the rural areas in the south of New Ireland. This new three-daytraning workshop is aligned with the PNG National Framework for Gender Equityand Social Inclusion (GESI) and targets community leaders, supporting their undnder equality and the legal implications of gender-based violence, childabuse and discrimination based on gender and disability. The training explores familyplanning, reproductive rights and family violence from a gender perspective. Community leaders suchas representatives of village courts, elected leaders and pastors are invitedto participate in a three-day training workshop on understanding gender equityand gender roles, social inclusion and related national laws and policies. Sinceits introduction, six CMTs have been conducted in rural communities of NewIreland, training a total of 125 community leaders.
Family planning in-service training
Family Planning training was successfully delivered to health workers in the Namatanai district of New Ireland in March 2020.
Learning outcomes of the training included:·
*. Increasing knowledge on all forms of contraceptive options available in PNG·
* Identifying and knowing how to effectively dispel common myths and misinformation that may influence requests for inappropriate implant removal·
* Conducting effective client consultation and counselling, including post-partum insertion·
* Demonstrating safe and effective Jadelle implant insertion and removal, and managing difficult removals.
Limitations due to COVID-19
We are very fortunate to have our PNG-based staff who will continue to undertake program work including community training and education on family planning and gender equity, as well as delivering family planning information and services via outreach patrols. When it is possible to do so, our team in PNG will continue their work visiting remote and rural communities for outreach health patrols and training of community leaders. We are also able to use these opportunities to provide additional COVID-19 related education to support these isolated communities to stay well by using good health and hygiene practices.
The emphasis on community education of family planning, gender equity and reproductive rights will continue in 2020/21 to address the various myths, misconceptions and poor practices in villages. By working with community members at various levels, we plan to inform both men and women of the importance of gender equality, family planning and ensuring women are given access to appropriate information and services regarding their sexual and reproductive health in an environment conducive to that decision making.
The inclusion of a family planning officer and gender equity officer will continue to be a priority on our outreach health patrols as they visit remote and rural communities in both New Ireland and West New Britain. For many isolated women, this is one of the few opportunities available for them to access family planning information and services.