Sunday, May 18, 2008

The 2nd International Conference on Reproductive Health Management in Bali, Indonesia

The 2nd International Conference on Reproductive Health Management (ICHRM) was held last May 6-8, 2008 at the Kartika Plaza Hotel, Bali, Indonesia. The conference gathered around 400 participants from government, academe, local government units, military, non-government organizations, research institutions, people’s organizations and other individuals, institutions and organizations. The participating countries came mostly from Southeast Asia, and other Asian countries while others came from as far as Sudan and Mauritius.

The 3-day conference dealt with Reproductive Health Management (RHM) as a way of maximizing the potentials of individuals, groups, and institutions working in the reproductive health sector in designing, implementing and sustaining specific initiatives aimed at addressing relevant community aspirations and needs while contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The six functional areas include (1) Governance, policy, ethics and standards; (2) Organization and human resource development and management; (3) Knowledge management; (4) Service delivery and operations management; (5) Resource mobilization, partnership and alliance building; and (6) Social entrepreneurship and enterprise development, institutionalization, and sustainability. In addition, RHM includes with 10 elements of reproductive health as defined by the ICPD. The focus was on how best to manage specific reproductive health initiatives with special emphasis on family planning in the light of equally pressing concerns that affect the living conditions of people particularly in developing countries. Thus the conference adopted the theme "Convergence: working together for results and impact".

Participants shared their current expertise and experiences in managing the reproductive health program to achieve better results and impact. The conference gave special emphasis on discussing the management of family planning program and also highlighted critical issues of reproductive health programs, such as access, quality, leadership, community participation, and youth empowerment.

ICRHM provided an opportunity for participants to develop a common agenda and build a consensus on ways to best pursue it, shared learning across individuals and organizations, build skills, and renew commitments to continue their work. Moreover, ICHRM highlighted current and emergent practices in managing reproductive health in relation to other development concerns, identified gaps, gains, lessons, insights, challenges and opportunities in pursuing multiple priorities in the area of reproductive health and development; and reached a consensus on future actions to advance reproductive health management in accelerating the achievement of MDGs.

Sudan will be the next venue for the 3rd ICHRM in 2010.

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