Pathfinder's advocacy is focused on improving the US and global political environment for sexual and reproductive health programs. As part of our work, Pathfinder provides timely information to policymakers and key constituencies about the importance of sexual and reproductive health services. Pathfinder utilizes research findings, data, and programmatic expertise to advocate for policies and budgeting decisions that promote the best public health practices.
Pathfinder has three key areas of advocacy work:
In the United States, Pathfinder is known as one of the few US Government-supported organizations that actively promotes a progressive sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda. Using private donor support, Pathfinder advocates with US decision-makers for support of international family planning and reproductive health assistance.
Pathfinder has advocated for the reversal of harmful policies and when necessary, has challenged those policies. Pathfinder brought the US Government to court over restrictions put in place by the Global Gag Rule. The courts recognized the right for US-based nongovernmental organizations to use their private funds without any government interference. It also clarified that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is permitted to provide support for postabortion care services.
Pathfinder continues to stand strong in opposition to domestic efforts that constrain sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is particularly important since the United States is a leading donor for family planning and reproductive health programs worldwide. US foreign assistance policies-under which Pathfinder and our local partners operate-not only set the stage for US funding, but for other international commitments, as well.
Globally, advocacy is urgently needed to accelerate progress on delivering sexual and reproductive health services to the hardest to reach and most marginalized populations. In the first decade of the new millennium, sexual and reproductive health and rights-and especially family planning-suffered a loss of momentum in both funding and priority. It is just now catching up, but there is a long way to go. Pathfinder's leadership and active participation in multiple global coalitions and task forces enables us to amplify our voice to inform and influence multi-lateral institutions, such as the UN and World Bank, and to influence and advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda.
Pathfinder's field advocacy is focused on supporting and mobilizing our field offices to advocate for better sexual and reproductive health and rights policies and programs within their respective countries. Pathfinder works to improve governmental policies and to support local civil society organizations to become engaged in and influence national and international policy debates. Field advocacy is crucial to improving the health and lives of the people Pathfinder serves in the countries where we work.
From 2011 - 2014, Pathfinder broadened government support for the deployment of community midwives as providers of family planning services.
The project goal is to focus on young women of reproductive age and to increase contraceptive prevalence in Angola. National level objectives are addressed by assisting the government, MOH, and Luanda Provincial Health Directorate.
The complex constellation of factors that underlie and reinforce gender-based violence warrants a strong multi-level and multisectoral response.
We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.
It was a matter of life and death for Jenelia, who lives in a remote mountain village in Haiti, the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. This issue of Pathways explores how mobile technology is changing the way community health workers are delivering health services to women like Jenelia.