Important Conference Updates and FAQ

New Dates Announced for International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP)

Nusa Dua, Indonesia (13 November 2015) – Conference organizers announced today that the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) will be rescheduled for 25-28 January, 2016, in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. Previously, conference organizers had postponed the November 2015 conference dates due to a volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Lombok.

“Postponing the November conference activities was an extremely difficult decision, but we believe it was the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of our valued delegates and to maximize the value of the ICFP for the family planning community,” said Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Director of the Gates Institute and Chair of the ICFP International Steering Committee.

“We would like to thank all of our partners for their support over the last week, and in particular we would like to thank the Government of Indonesia for their guidance and hospitality,” Rimon continued. “We are pleased to confirm that the fourth ICFP will be held in Nusa Dua in late January 2016, and we are excited to reconvene the family planning community so soon.” 

 

ICFP Postponement/Reschedule – Frequently Asked Questions

As of 13 Nov 2015

Please see below for updates on the ICFP. If you are not already on the official ICFP mailing list, please sign up here to receive the latest information on the conference. We will be updating this FAQ periodically as more information becomes available.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Question: Has the conference been postponed? And what does “postponed” mean?

Answer: Unfortunately, the November 2015 ICFP in Nusa Dua, Indonesia has been postponed due to a volcanic eruption on the neighboring island of Lombok. This means all November conference activities are cancelled. The International Conference on Family Planning is now rescheduled for 25-28 January 2016.

Question: Will I be refunded for the conference registration fee?

Answer: If you plan to attend the ICFP in January 2016, your conference registration fee will be automatically transferred to the rescheduled date. For those who cannot attend the ICFP in January, we will create a form whereby you can submit official cancellation and refund requests or transfer your registration to a colleague. The form will be emailed to all the week of November 23.

Question: Do I need to reconfirm my oral presentation, preformed panel, or poster presentation?

Answer: Yes, all accepted abstracts will need to be reconfirmed. An email will be sent the week of November 23 asking all presenters to reconfirm their individual abstract that was accepted as an oral presentation or a poster. All primary contacts of preformed panels will be emailed and asked to reconfirm their panel. All will have the opportunity to update their accepted abstract(s) and identify new presenters if needed. You must confirm by Wednesday, December 9 and we hope to have the new conference program available by December 23.

TRAVEL QUESTIONS

Question: I received a scholarship to attend the ICFP in November. Will there be opportunities to attend the rescheduled ICFP in January on scholarship as well?

Answer: Please contact the person/organization that issued your scholarship to determine whether scholarships will be available for the ICFP in January.

Question: I was self-funded and paid for my own travel to the ICFP in November. Because of the cancellation fees, I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend the conference in January 2016. What should I do?

Answer: There is no additional funding at this time to support travel for non-scholarship participants. However, we’ve heard that several partners are exploring opportunities to raise funds to help individuals who can no longer attend the conference due to the cost of cancellation fees. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Question: Do you know if hotel bookings will be refunded?

Answer: We encourage you to reach out directly to your hotel to negotiate a refund due to the extenuating circumstances. Many hotels are offering full refunds if you can provide proof of flight cancellation; others are offering hotel credits at 100% to be used in January or settling for a one-night charge as a cancellation fee.

If you plan to attend ICFP in January 2016 and have had trouble securing a full refund, please ask your hotel to offer credits for the January conference.

Question: Will I get refunded for event space and other event costs?

Answer: We encourage you to reach out directly to your venue to negotiate a refund due to the extenuating circumstances.

If you reserved space at the conference venue, Christine Lee (clee@jhu.edu) will contact you shortly to continue planning your event for the new date.

Question: What are the plans for general news and announcements that were going to be made at the conference?

Answer: Now that the conference is rescheduled, Global Health Strategies (GHS) will be working with the International Media & Communications Subcommittee to create a holistic strategy for promoting news and announcements that were expected to be made at the conference. If you have any questions or need to make announcements immediately, please email GHS_ICFP2015@ghstrat.com so GHS can help coordinate.

Question: The Denpasar airport re-opened; why did the ICFP organizers decide to postpone?

Answer: The opening was considered temporary and dependent on unpredictable natural factors such as wind direction and volcanic activity. In these situations, the Government of Indonesia makes an evaluation every two hours to decide whether the airport should remain opened or closed.

The difficult decision to postpone the conference was made after the volcanic ash cloud forced the closure of the Denpasar Airport for three days, affecting the timely arrival of thousands of participants and dignitaries. Many high-level speakers were concerned that they would not be able to make it at all because of the unpredictable schedule of airport openings and closings. To minimize inconvenience for those who had not yet begun their journeys, protect the health and safety of valued ICFP delegates, and maximize the value of the conference for the family planning community as a whole, we chose to postpone to a later date. This proved to be the right decision as flights were continually cancelled or postponed throughout the week of November 9th.

Question: You’re rescheduling to Nusa Dua. Will the volcanic eruption stop by January? Is there a risk this will happen again?

Answer: In the past week we have consulted with volcano experts, the Government of Indonesia and partners to come to the best possible decision on the conference dates and location. There are a number of factors to take into consideration, including the volcano. We’ve asked the local experts to look into patterns of volcanic activity and wind patterns in the region. They told us that usually volcanic eruptions like this resolve after a few weeks and, because of the release of energy, after this eruption the risk of another eruption will be greatly reduced.

There is no certainty that the volcano will be dormant in January. The Mount Ranjani volcano continues to be active, though the level of activity appears to be reduced from one week ago. However, the meteorological forecast based on historic seasonal variations shows that in the months of January through March, the prevailing wind patterns are west-to-east, meaning that any volcanic ash would likely to be moving away from the island of Bali and the Denpasar Airport during those months. During November, the prevailing wind pattern is east-to-west, which prompted the closing of the Denpasar Airport.

MEDIA-RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: Will there be opportunities in the near future to cover these issues?

Answer: Yes. The conference is now rescheduled for January 2016, which means there will be many opportunities to cover family planning and women’s health issues in the lead-up to the conference. The Global Health Strategies team is happy to work with you on your piece, and connect you with conference speakers and participants upon request.

Question: I was in the middle of developing a story tied to ICFP. What should I do?

Answer: Although the conference has been delayed, the family planning conversation continues. We would encourage you to email GHS to discuss the topic of your piece and to determine whether it makes sense to publish now or closer to the conference.

Question: Can I still publish a story on some of the research that was going to be presented at ICFP?

Answer: If you spoke with an expert or organization who planned to present research at ICFP, please hold publication until you’ve reached out to the expert or organization to confirm when the research will be publically available. If you have trouble getting in touch, please email GHS_ICFP2015@ghstrat.com

For all other media inquiries, please contact: Courtney Hamilton at GHS_ICFP2015@ghstrat.com.

DIGITAL & SOCIAL

Question: Is the #ICFP2015 hastag still going to be active? If so, what type of content should we share?

Answer: We are updating the hashtag and Twitter handle. #ICFP is the official hashtag of the conference going forward, and the Twitter handle is @ICFP2016.

While our in-person collaborations this November have been delayed, we hope the family planning community will continue this important conversation virtually in forums around the world. We will be in touch over the coming weeks with specific ways you can use the #ICFP hashtag.

Question: Will partners continue to publish ICFP digital content and, if so, where will it be shared?

Answer: Many of the campaigns around ICFP are a part of long-term efforts to build momentum around family planning issues and will continue. Now that the conference is rescheduled, partners will resume digital campaigns. If you/your organization are still planning to push out content, we encourage you to coordinate with Global Health Strategies and consider reposting it to the ICFP Digital Hub.

CONTACTS

Question: Where is the best place to go to for information?

Answer: As usual, the official ICFP website (http://fpconference.org) will be regularly updated with information about the conference. Please be sure to refresh your browser when viewing the website to ensure all new updates have loaded.

Please contact the below individuals for all additional inquires: