The “Exemplars in Global Health” project has identified Bolivia as one of six model countries in the area of family planning due to unusually large gains in the voluntary adoption of modern contraceptive methods over the past two decades. The objective of the Exemplar Bolivia project is to identify the policies, initiatives, good practices, and circumstances that have enabled these achievements.
The Bolivian case study is carried out jointly by SDSN Bolivia and Marie Stopes International in Bolivia (MSIB), under the guidance of Aga Khan University in Pakistan, which is coordinating the six Exemplars in Family Planning case studies.
The Exemplars Bolivia project was formally launched on the 5th and 6th of September with two stakeholder meetings, where the project team, together with a representative from Gates Ventures, presented the project objectives and methodology to representatives of civil society and government actors, respectively. The objective of the stakeholder meetings was to receive constructive feedback, identify potential collaborators, and find useful sources of information for the project.
On Tuesday, the 5th of September, representatives of civil society, United Nations agencies, and international cooperation – all with extensive experience in the area of family planning interventions – were gathered to provide feedback and suggestions on how best to move forward together. Some of the institutions that committed to collaborate with the project were UNFPA, PROCOSI, CIES, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency.
Introduction on the first day with civil society
On Wednesday, the 6th of September, key government stakeholders provided very valuable recommendations on how to take advantage of this project not only to understand success factors in Bolivia but also to learn about weak points in family planning policy in Bolivia, so as to improve even further. For example, modern contraceptive use is very low among teenagers (15-19-year-olds), and a representative from the Ministry of Education suggested that it would be useful if the project could thoroughly analyze how the topic of reproductive health has been addressed in the changing school curricula over the last 20 years, and also how it differs between different ethnic groups, as there is not just one standard curriculum for the whole country. A representative of the Ministry of Health and Sports urged the researchers to investigate if health facilities really comply with Law No. 1152 and provide free condoms to adolescents on a monthly basis.
Presentation on the second day with government representation
The project team is very grateful for all the constructive feedback and looks forward to carrying out this project in a highly collaborative manner with both national and international colleagues.