The rural communes of Gorgadji and Seytenga included funding for family planning activities in their 2017 Annual Communal Investment Plans—a first for communes in Burkina Faso. These plans approve yearly communal expenses; including specific language in the plan is the most effective way to ensure that a commune allocates funds to family planning.
Gorgadji commune’s Annual Communal Investment Plan (ACIP) allotted 2 million CFA (US $3,200) for family planning activities. Of that, 1.5 million CFA is earmarked for the purchasing of contraceptives and 500,000 CFA is earmarked for supporting organizations raising family planning awareness. Gorgadji’s ACIP has been approved and validated by the appropriate authorities at both the communal and the regional levels.
Seytenga commune’s ACIP assigned 500,000 CFA ($800) for information, education, and communication activities around family planning. Final approval and validation of the ACIP should happen in the next month.
The ACIP allocations, though not very high, set a precedent of communal investment in family planning and provide a baseline for future advocacy efforts. Most importantly, they will help improve the lives of thousands of women. Both communes are located in the Sahel region—the poorest region in Burkina Faso with a dire unmet need for family planning. The contraceptive prevalence rate is only seven percent (DHS 2010).
Opportunity Fund awardee Management Sciences for Health - Burkina Faso (formerly FCI-Burkina) knew that the mayors of Gorgadji and Seytenga were favorable towards family planning. They organized a SMART facilitation with communal leaders and advocates to identify the best way to approach the mayors and municipal council. The Opportunity Fund, managed by PAI with funding from Advance Family Planning (AFP), is a small grants program that helps advocates seize opportunities to accelerate Family Planning 2020’s success at district, state, national, and regional levels.
The inclusion of family planning in ACIPs will make it more likely that the upcoming drafting of five-year Communal Development Plans will also prioritize family planning.
Going forward, Management Sciences for Health – Burkina Faso will monitor that the funds are released as budgeted. They will continue to collaborate closely with AFP local partner Équilibres et Populations in their advocacy to ensure that women of Burkina Faso have access to quality family planning services.