APA provides grants to its primary members to encourage strategic and targeted advocacy campaigns to improve policies and increase domestic resources for SRHR.
APA Advocacy Grant Programme 11th Cycle
The 11th cycle of the APA Advocacy Grants Programme, ‘Country Action in Asia and the Pacific for SRHR in the Post-2015 framework’, aims to strengthen the collective global agenda by working at the national and regional levels to ensure that SRHR targets and indicators are included in the post-2015 framework. It is also aims to ensure that governments take immediate steps to adopt these in national frameworks after the new Sustainable Development Goals are announced in September 2015 to ensure appropriate implementation. In the 11th cycle, APA provided three grant awards of a maximum of USD 20,000, with activities taking place between March 2015 and March 2016. The grant recipients are:
An Independent Review Panel (IRP) was established and tasked to review, assess and comment on grant proposals based on set criteria. APA wishes to sincerely thank Elisha Dunn-Georgiou, Vice President of Programs, PAI; Katherine McDonald, Member of the Board, ACSHR; and Dr Srinivas Tata, Chief of the Social Policy and Population Section, SDD, UN Economic and Social Commission Asia Pacific (ESCAP) for serving on the IRP.
The team rose bright and early on a hot August morning in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG). We were on a mission: to capture the voices of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates who work across the country.
We were gathering community perspectives on how to prioritize SRHR in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in PNG for the production of a short video. The immediate challenge for the team, however, was that we had only one day to complete the filming!
In PNG, the lifetime risk of a mother dying during pregnancy remains 1 in 20, and there is a high unmet need for contraception. Universal access to quality SRH information and services — a target included in Goals 3 and 5 of the SDGs — remains a significant challenge, due to the largely rural population, mountainous terrain, and limited infrastructure. Entrenched gender inequality also acts as a formidable barrier for women and girls to access services, education and information.
Our team included representatives from five different organizations, joined by a common passion for SRHR. We decided to focus on the need to tackle stigma and discrimination surrounding sexual and reproductive health – it is still a taboo subject for many people in PNG. We agreed that one of the main goals of the video should be to use the ambitious and universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a tool to encourage Papua New Guineans to start talking openly about SRHR issues in their communities.
After finalizing the video outline and script, it was time to start filming. We filmed in a variety of locations around Port Moresby, but the most memorable location was filming along the boardwalk of the coastal village of Hanuabada.
There were big gaps between some of the slats, so we took our shoes off to help with balancing on the very wobbly boards. It was amazing to watch the locals running along the boardwalk as if they were on tarmac, while we crawled and shouted encouragement to each other.
Throughout the filming, we had to be conscious of collecting footage in an appropriate way and with full and informed consent - especially when visiting small communities like Hanuabada - as we were speaking about issues that may be considered sensitive by the local people.
Our day ended with completion of the filming, and you can watch the video that was created from the footage below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UepLe-pl5I&feature=youtu
By: Eliza Raymond, Family Planning New Zealand ‘Voices from the Pacific’ project, part of the 11th cycle of the APA Advocacy Grants Programme.
THE TEAM: Cathy Fokes, Safe Motherhood Alliance (SMALL PNG); Leonie Bannon Senior, SMALL PNG; Lavinia Mul, SMALL PNG; Naomi Woyengu, YWCA PNG; David Rupa, Youth and Adolescents Health PNG; Jack Evari, Marie Stopes PNG.