Visit International Conference on Family Planning November 9-12, 2015, the fourth International Conference on Family Planning will take place in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center. Co-hosted by the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BkkbN) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, the conference is expected to host more than 3,500 participants. Nearly 2,100 individual and preformed panel abstracts were submitted for consideration this year—the largest number in conference history.
The 2013 conference was co-hosted by the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Health and the Gates Institute at the African Union Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Over 3,500 researchers, program implementers, policymakers, advocates, youth leaders, media, and representatives of local and international organizations from 110 countries came together to support the goal of providing all women “Full Access, Full Choice” to life-saving family planning information, supplies, and services. As Melinda French Gates said at the conference, “Millions of women are fighting--courageous women who are fighting for themselves and their families because they know for their families it is a matter of life versus death. Let’s make sure, let’s make sure their courage counts. Let’s fight with them, as hard as we can, and for as long as it takes.”
The conference lived up to Melinda’s wishes and served as a time to rally positive energy for the cause with a full program, including an opening reception, daily plenaries, multiple interactive skill-building sessions, panel presentations, poster sessions, a policymaker forum, and an exhibition area. In total, there were 681 oral presentations in 179 sessions and 276 poster presentations. Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University, and Michael Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, were in attendance, as well as hundreds of current students and alumni from the School of Public Health.
Nearly 200 national and international journalists attended the conference, and over 225 original articles have been published as a result of the media campaign. In addition, there were many satellite events including receptions, meetings, and site visits to Ethiopian Health Extension Workers’ clinics.
Notably, the youth presence at the conference was vibrant, with more than 350 youth ages 18-25 from over 30 countries. Youth submitted video applications to apply to speak at the conference, and youth leaders were represented in all major plenaries and as moderators in sessions.
The conference was a celebration of the success achieved in family planning thus far, and the first-ever EXCELL awards were given at three levels: individual/team, organization/facility, and country. The winners at each level were chosen out of 100 nominees.
The ICFP is more than a conference; it is a movement and a platform for strategic inflection points in the family planning agenda. We look forward to the 2015 ICFP as the momentum continues to grow.