The 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) set
forth a number of challenges. In particular, Chapter
7, Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health, of the
ICPD Programme of Action provides a sound rationale
for action and outlines objectives and steps to be taken.
One of the ICPDs main goals is to ensure that
reproductive and sexual health services are universally
available and of sufficient quality to meet the rising
demand for them.
high quality services is a goal that demands improved
staff training and supervision, and regular monitoring
of their interactions with clients. Improving the scope
and quality of care will also mean additional investments
in infrastructure and personnel.
with civil society are also fundamental to the ultimate
success of initiatives aimed at improving the design
and delivery of reproductive health information and
services. NGOs and community-based womens organizations
have become particularly important forces in designing,
researching and testing new methods of service delivery.
Such grassroots groups have also been instrumental in
urging the expansion of national programmes.
evaluating current programmes, feedback from clients
indicate they want:
and courteous service
to their specific needs and concerns
and accurate information on family planning methods
competence of staff
access to care and supplies
in provision of services regardless of age, marital
status, sex, class or ethnicity.
activities are underway in the six pilot countries --
India, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Peru and Tanzania.
in 2001, with funding from the United Nations Foundation
(UNF), Stronger Voices builds on the respective strengths
and experiences of four UN partners: UNFPA, ILO-STEP,
WHO and UNICEF.