Pathfinder often brings together field staff and US Government officials, putting a face to US foreign assistance. Here, Dr. Rajiv Shah, head of USAID, speaks with Margaret Makumi, Deputy Director of Pathfinder’s USAID-funded APHIA II project in Nairobi.

A volunteer motivates her neighbors to join “Egyptian Women Speak Out,” a program that imparts communication skills women can use with their husbands, and also helps them develop ideas for income-generating projects.

At home and abroad, Pathfinder collaborates with coalitions to promote positive policy change and serve as watchdogs to policy implementation. In Mozambique, Pathfinder is leading a coalition that advocates for decriminalization of abortion with Parliament.

In India, young people speak to a local leader, demanding that he enforce laws prohibiting child marriage. Pathfinder works to amplify the voices of youth, providing opportunities for them to engage with policymakers to defend their health and rights.

In Pakistan, Pathfinder collaborates with governments to increasing the number of community health workers trained in numerous aspects of family planning counseling, information dissemination, and door-to-door service delivery.

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:

US Advocacy

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. 

Global Advocacy

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.

Field Advocacy

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.

Related Projects

Advance Family Planning

Advance Family Planning

PAST PROJECT: From 2011-2014, Pathfinder broadened government support for the deployment of community midwives as providers of family planning services.

Community Scorecards in Tanzania

PAST PROJECT: Pathfinder was awarded a second grant from the Results for Development Institute to implement activities that are complementary to those of the Citizen Report Cards.

Photo by Sarah Day

Confronting the Unmet Need: Improving Community Access to Quality Family Planning Services

PAST PROJECT: Pathfinder, in collaboration with the Family Planning Association of Uganda (FPAU) implemented a project focused on advocacy and community-based revitalization.

Related Publications

May 2015

Making the difference: An intensive model for strengthening civil society capacity in Mozambique

This technical brief explores Pathfinder’s intensive approach to strengthening the organizational capacity of five youth-serving civil society organizations in Mozambique.

May 2015

Resposta Multissectorial à Violência Baseada No Género em Moçambique (multiple languages)

This Portuguese translation of a Pathfinder technical brief explores implementation of a multisectoral approach to GBV prevention and response across two projects in Mozambique, and outlines key lessons learned and next steps.

January 2015

Multisectoral Responses to Gender-based Violence in Mozambique (multiple languages)

The complex constellation of factors that underlie and reinforce gender-based violence warrants a strong multi-level and multisectoral response.

December 2014

Análise para Advocacia da Política do Aborto (multiple languages)

Este instrumento foi concebido com a intenção de ajudar as organizações a: avaliar o contexto legal do aborto; avaliar o contexto real do aborto; identificar desafios e oportunidades para melhorar o acesso ao aborto seguro através de mudanças nas políticas.

Related News

Male Involvement in Family Planning Vital for Demographic Dividend

Addressing the gathering, Mr Josea Otege of Pathfinder International said that Demographic Dividend is achieved due to policy changes in education, health, family planning, economic reforms and government accountability, which in turn help to promote demographic transition.

Groups Push Obama to Clarify U.S. Abortion Funding for Wartime Rape

Nearly two dozen health, advocacy, and faith groups are calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action clarifying that U.S. assistance can be used to fund abortion services for women and girls raped in the context of war and conflict.

Pathfinder Responds to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Purnima Mane releases statement from Melbourne in advance of the 20th International AIDS Conference
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