Advancing Family Planning through Faith Organizations

The world’s development community acknowledges that in some countries, up to 70% of healthcare services are provided through faith-led health facilities. Faith-based facilities are often placed among marginalized and vulnerable groups in hard-to-reach areas. Services are driven by a sense of social justice and concern for people’s well-being. Not only do faith-based organizations (FBOs) have the strength of numbers (an estimated five billion people are affiliated with a religion), but they are also influential with communities and policymakers. Further, FBOs have a strong level of community ownership and belonging and remain permanent with communities in all situations. Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso, Chair of the Faith to Action Network, regularly observes, “Religious leaders are with you from ‘the womb to the tomb,’ and faith institutions never evacuate, even during emergencies.”

Faith leaders influence the thoughts and actions of their congregations and communities. They are key authoritative figures in their communities, yet are an untapped stakeholder resource in the development space. Through organized panels, the 2011 and 2013 ICFPs paved the way for engaging faith-based organizations and religious leaders at the table when discussing family planning. Those two conferences also helped to galvanize the faith community as partners.

As we prepare for the ICFP, faith leaders’ support is needed in speaking overtly on the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy and family planning to improve health outcomes for mothers and children – something we all agree on. The faith community plans to be at the table now and in the future to support healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy (HTSP) and FP (family planning).

The sub-committee is co-chaired by Muhammadiyah, Faith to Action Network and Christian Connections for International Health.

Members of the faith sub-committee include: Al-Azhar University, Cordaid, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network, Engender Health, Evidence to Action Project, Institute for Reproductive Health, International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research at Al Azhar University, PAI, Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau, UNFPA Technical Division, and World Vision.

The faith sub-committee is hosting an invitation-only pre-conference, 24 and 25 January.

For more information, please contact Faith to Action, Christian Connections for International Health or Muhammadiyah.

Session Session Title
1.1.16 Faith, family planning, and sexual and reproductive health / Foi, planification familiale et santé sexuelle et reproductive
1.2.08 Devolving family planning services: FBOs as cost effective structures / Décentraliser les services de planification familiale: Organisations religieuses, structures rentables
1.4.12 Faith-Based Health Leadership in Africa: An Integral Part of Improving Family Planning and Reproductive Health / Leadership religieux en Afrique: Partie intégrante de l’amélioration de la planification familiale et la santé de la reproduction
3.1.02 South-South Cooperation: Sharing Indonesia’s experience in Family Planning with other developing countries / Coopération Sud-Sud: Partage d’expérience de l’Indonésie en planification familiale avec d’autres pays en voie de Développement
3.1.06 Holistic care: How faith-based organizations are integrating family planning into development programs / Soins holistiques: Comment les organisations religieuses intègrent la planification familiale aux programmes de développement




Event Title Sponsoring Organization(s) Location
Faith Pre-Conference
*begins at 08:00 on 24 Jan; ends at 14:00 on 25 Jan
Faith to Action Network, Christian Connections for International Health, and Muhammadiyah Mengwi 1+2


TUESDAY, 26 JANUARY (18:30 – 19:30)

Event Title Sponsoring Organization(s) Location
Young women’s decision making on family planning and the role of religious beliefs and cultural traditions Progressio, Christian Connections for International Health Mengwi 3+5


WEDNESDAY, 27 JANUARY (18:00 – 19:30)

Event Title Sponsoring Organization(s) Location
Reframing religious and cultural norms to advance sexual rights and abortion access and reduce stigma and discrimination Ipas, Alimat, YKP Women’s Health Foundation, Samsara Legian 1


THURSDAY, 28 JANUARY (7:00 – 8:20)

Event Title Sponsoring Organization(s) Location
Panel Discussion on Islam and Family Planning in Indonesia UNFPA Indonesia Legian 2