Historic progress at ICFP 2016

85 faith leaders from 26 nations gathered for the first-ever Faith Pre-conference (January 24th-25th, 2016) on the sidelines of the International Conference on Family Planning 2016 . They committed to scaling up services to help families with healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and discussed best practices in family planning. Representing the Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths, these leaders discussed how to promote the Sustainable Development Goals family planning agenda at national and international levels. Faith to Action Network served as a Co-Chair, along with Christian Connection for International Health and Muhammadiyah of the ICFP 2016 Faith Subcommittee.

Delivering on family planning

Since 2016, faith actors across the world have made impressive progress in delivering on their statement in support of family planning. To that end, a mapping of faith actors’ advocacy achievements since 2016 was shared by Mona Bormet, MPH, CHES, Program Director for Christian Connections for International Health.

Conference report

See the ICFP 2016 Faith Pre-conference Report which includes recommendations developed at the pre-conference, along with photos and summaries of presentations and discussions.


Statement of Faith Leaders

Faith leaders prepared a statement committing to supporting family planning to protect the health of women and children during the pre-conference. Reverend Canon Grace Kaiso, Chairman of Faith to Action Network, General Secretary of Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, read the statement during the closing plenary session. Download English  Download French  Download Indonesian

Presentations from the faith community

This is a list of presentations of representatives of the faith community at ICFP 2016

Dominika Jajkowicz, Faith to Action Network presents key lessons from a mapping study on advancing SRHR through faith-based approaches. |

Dr. Ahmed Ragab, Professor of Reproductive Health, Al Azhar University on the Caravan experience and how Al Azhar University is influencing Islamic leaders on family planning, reproductive health and gender issues. | Presentation

Geertje van Mensvoort, Cordaid on the organization’s work in reproductive health in fragile states and its efforts to involve faith leaders. | Presentation

Prof. Musdah Mulia, University of Syarif Hidayatullah, shares lessons from Indonesia on developing a strategic partnership with Muslim Leaders | Presentation

Sonya Funna, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, presented on Integrating Economic Growth and Family Planning in Nepa | Presentation

Ronald Kasyaba, Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau, presented on Introducing a Family Planning and Couple-strengthening Approach to Catholic Health Facilities in Uganda | Presentation

Lisa Firth, Salvation Army, presented on Integration of Community-based Family Planning Services into a Faith-based Organization’s Comprehensive Program for Vulnerable Families in Rural Uganda | Presentation

Devina Shah, World Vision, presented on Increasing Contraceptive Uptake by Addressing Barriers within Conservative Muslim Communities in Kenya Presentation

Dr. Tri Hastuti Nur Rochimah of the Aisyiyah National Board in Indonesia discusses the organization’s partnerships with the government and faith leaders to scale up family planning. | Presentation

Karen Sichinga, Chair, African Christian Health Associations Platform and Executive Director, Churches Health Association of Zambia on the role of faith-based organizations in family planning in Africa | Presentation

Lauren Van Enk, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University on the involvement of faith-based organizations in family planning and results of a study on FBOs. | Presentation

Presentations on faith and family planning

The following provides a list of presentations on family planning and faith from other stakeholders.

Panel on faith, family planning, and sexual and reproductive health | Presentations

Devolving family planning services: FBOs as cost effective structures | Presentations

Faith-Based Health Leadership in Africa: An Integral Part of Improving Family Planning and Reproductive Health | Presentations

South-South Cooperation: Sharing Indonesia’s experience in Family Planning with other developing countries | Presentations

Media coverage

The Faith Subcommittee and other ICFP partners reached out to media outlets across the globe to take this opportunity to debunk myths that faith communities and leaders do not support family planning. As a result of this outreach, an opinion piece by Reverend Canon Grace Kaiso, General Secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa and Chair of the Faith to Action Network and Dr. Ahmed RA Ragab, Professor of Reproductive Health at Al-Azhar University and Vice Chairman of the Faith to Action Network about support among religious leaders appeared in the Guardian. The piece, Why Religious Leaders Have a Moral Duty to Promote Family Planning, featured the work of the Christian Health Association of Kenya to involve religious leaders in scaling up family planning use in two communities. A version of the original opinion piece including the work of the Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals also appeared in publications in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda and Ghana.

An article in All Africa featured comments by Dr. Tonny Tumwesigye of the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau about faith and family planning and why healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies is consistent with Christian values. Articles featuring interviews with CCIH’s Mona Bormet (Leap for Faith), Dr. Henry Mosley of Johns Hopkins University (Having Faith in Family Planning), and Grand Mufti Sheikh Mangala Luaba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Faith and Family Planning: A Q&A with Sheikh Mangala Luaba) appeared in Global Health Now. Sheikh Luaba explained that family planning is supported by the Qu’ran and means giving good health to the mother and good growth, development and health to the child, while also giving time for the father to provide financially for the family.

CCIH Program Director Mona Bormet was quoted along with CCIH members Susan Otchere of World Vision and Katherine Marshall of World Faiths Development Dialogue in this Los Angeles Times article by Noam Levey on support among faith leaders for family planning. The article also includes the work of the Christian Health Association of Kenya.

Bibliography of media articles

Why Religious Leaders Have a Moral Duty to Promote Family Planning appeared in the Guardian

A version of the Guardian piece appeared in publications in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda and Ghana

Africa: God and Condoms: Perspective on Family Planning and Faith in All Africa

Kenyan Clergy Push for Family Planning at Global Health Forum in Indonesia in the Daily Nation (Kenya) also cross posted in All Africa

Clerics-Family Link Stressed in The Citizen (Tanzania)

Family planning: women and young people need access and choice, by Key Correspondents: Reporting for Action on HIV. Cross-posed in All Africa

On Family Planning, Financing and Fine Lines: Recapping ICFP 2016 in Global Health Policy Blog (Center for Global Development)

Jokowi says family planning key to ensuring global peace in Jakarta Globe (brief mention of Faith Pre-Conference)

Religious leaders’ successful programs helps family planning, in Republika, (in Indonesian)

Finding Common Ground in the Star (Malaysia)

Mutual Respect Needed in the Star (Malaysia)

Pope Francis Isn’t the Only Religious Leader to Give a Surprising Boost to Contraception in the Los Angeles Times

Highlights 2016 ICFP

Agendas of faith events at 2016 ICFP

Media Training Agenda:

Pre-conference Agenda: 

Faith related presentations: