TCI Annual Meeting 2023 Charts Course for Sustainable Impact in Reproductive Health and Family Planning

News | by Krizzia Esperanza

The Challenge Initiative (TCI) convened its fifth annual meeting from December 4-8, 2023 at Marriott Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. Themed “Built to Last,” the meeting brought together TCI global staff, funding partners, and representatives from 13 countries in Africa and Asia, including the Philippines through the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), to reflect on achievements, challenges, and set the course for sustainable impact in reproductive health and family planning.

TCI was conceptualized as a platform rather than a time-bound project, focusing on business unusual in the development space. More than just a program, it facilitates high-impact interventions in urban areas across Africa and Asia. In the past 6 years, TCI has engaged 178 cities and local governments, allowing them to lead, finance, and own implementation of health programs.

The meeting underscored the expertise of the Philippines, particularly in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) programming. Some of the Philippine health innovations highlighted were the digitalization of health information systems, creation of ASRH training institutions and pool of trainers, and integration of services in hospitals. ZFF is also specifically acknowledged globally for its leverage in leadership and governance as key drivers in strengthening local health systems through its Bridging Leadership Program.

The activity likewise engaged funding partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Bayer AG. BMGF pledged ongoing support beyond 2025, emphasizing the importance of addressing family planning commodity security. Bayer AG applauded TCI as a global platform adaptable to local contexts.

On the last day, TCI presented its key priorities for 2024 and beyond, taking from the lessons learned from the whole activity. These priorities involve attracting more partners, expanding into new geographies, exploring innovative funding mechanisms, implementing digital solutions for data analysis, maintaining a platform mindset, and accommodating additional health areas. TCI aims to leverage existing structures for integrated interventions, deliver impactful outcomes in graduated cities, and continue leading innovation and thought leadership for sustainable impact at scale. The ultimate objective is to empower local teams and generate internal success.

Reflecting on the five-day activity, the Philippine delegation expressed confidence in their growing momentum in health governance, marked by an increase in performance metrics. ZFF’s expertise in this field was recognized as a major advantage.

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