World Population Day Tweetchat Unites Family Planning Experts and Advocates Worldwide
This year on July 11, World Population Day, organizations around the globe came together virtually to discuss the importance of family planning advocacy. Continuing a similar discussion that was hosted in November 2012 by the Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) Project for the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project used the hashtag #FPAdvocacy to highlight its new resource the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit and the importance of family planning globally.
More than 152 Twitter users joined the Tweetchat, which yielded 1,400 Tweets in a very short period of time. At the time of the chat, #FPAdvocacy was in the top three trending topics in the United States. Many prominent and influential people and organizations from the world of global health and development shared opinions, statistics, information and resources on family planning and family planning advocacy during the chat. These experts and advocates brought energy and passion to the intriguing conversation about how to move the family planning advocacy agenda forward.
The chat itself was a great mechanism for advocacy and an effective vehicle for promoting tools and resources for family planning advocacy. The forum allowed many people to have a voice in the conversation--not just large NGOs, but individuals worldwide who are passionate about family planning. In light of the first anniversary of the London Summit on Family Planning and the large commitment made by donor agencies, developing and developed countries to reduce the unmet need for family planning worldwide by 2020, the chat harnessed the growing energy and excitement about family planning in the global health community.
Initiatives like FP2020 mean the landscape for increasing access to contraceptives and family planning is ripe, but advocating on local, regional, national, and global levels is still extremely important. Decisive action must be taken to achieve this important goal of reaching 120 million additional women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information and services by 2020. Currently a shocking 222 million women worldwide want but lack access to contraceptives—a gap in services that has grave health, social, and economic consequences for families, communities, and nations.
For state-of-the-art information and tools for family planning advocacy, visit the new K4Health Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit.