Female condoms: perhaps not the first topic for small talk you may think of. That being said, they are at the centre of attention for a significant number of advocates, NGOs, UN agencies and other development stakeholders. Since 2009, Oxfam Novib, Rutgers, i+ solutions and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been implementing the Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme (UAFC), which aims to enhance the availability, accessibility and affordability of female condoms.

Advocacy is one of the core strategies within the UAFC programme. UAFC has been engaged in advocacy to this end in joint collaboration with a number of female condom advocates. Advocacy activities have been geared towards foundations, bilateral donors and UN agencies, as well as towards the private sector and organisations that implement sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes. When reflecting on the ‘female condom commitments’ of these stakeholders, it may be observed that over the past five years, more funds have been spent on female condoms, and the number of female condoms procured and distributed has increased. In short: it appears that stakeholders have indeed increasingly committed to female condoms.

The questions that now remain are: to what extent will these positive developments be maintained in the post-2015 development environment, and will the various important stakeholders unambiguously commit themselves to female condoms also in years to come? These questions cannot yet be answered – though advocates will continue to do their utmost to keep female condoms on major stakeholders’ agendas, in programmes and in policies. Only the future will tell whether that is enough to keep important stakeholders committed to female condoms.

For further reading about stakeholder commitments to female condoms and the UAFC programme, I include three links to the UAFC website:

  1. 2-pager summarising the main findings of the stakeholder analysis for UAFC;
  2. Full report of the end-line stakeholder analysis for UAFC;
  3. UAFC website.

Context has carried out research on stakeholder commitments to female condoms for UAFC. This research was a spin-off of the End of Term Evaluation of the UAFC Joint Programme, which was led by ACE Europe and carried out in 2015 as a joint effort between ACE Europe, Context and a number of independent consultants. More information and the final report of this End of Term Evaluation can be found here.