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The Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning Awards, or the EXCELL Awards, provide an opportunity to celebrate progress being made within our communities to increase access to and use of voluntary family planning information and services.  On November 15, 2013, the last day of the International Conference on Family Planning, conference organizers publicly announced the first-ever EXCELL award recipients and honored their achievements.

Awards were given at three levels: the individual/team, organization/facility, and country levels.  Nominations for these awards were submitted by supporters of family planning from across the world, including program implementers, advocates, faith-based leaders, members of academia, staff of various foundations and international organizations, and several political leaders.  Close to 100 unique, eligible nominations were received across the three award categories.  A Special Awards Committee—comprised of diverse representatives from donors, UN agencies, foundations, international NGOs, and representatives from the South—then used publicly posted selection criteria to identify recipients.

Though the below information provides only a brief overview of the contributions the EXCELL award recipients have made to the family planning field, their achievements and approaches deserve to be highlighted and discussed within our community.  Their activities hold valuable lessons for those both within and beyond the borders of their respective countries and regions, and represent the progress that can be made when women and couples are provided with full access and full choice to plan their families.

EXCELL individual/team level recipients:
Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff, Senegal
Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Ethiopia

EXCELL organization/facility level recipients:
Blue Ventures, United Kingdom (for its work in Madagascar)
Banja La Mtsogolo, Malawi

EXCELL country level recipient:
Government of the Republic of Malawi

ICFP Special Recognition:
During the award ceremony the ICFP organizers also issued a separate, Special Recognition to a leader in the family planning field, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.