Policy to Action Framework

Moving from evidence to action
Policy evolves from data collection and interpretation and becomes the foundation of programs that protect and promote people’s well-being around the world. By listening to leaders from the national levels to those receiving care, Futures Group understands the big picture in health and what is needed, whether it’s improving family planning programs or preventing HIV transmissions. Effective policy requires four ingredients: identifying the problem, formulating the plan, implementing it, and then making sure it’s doing the job. Good policy starts with good information. Data analysis underpins everything we do in assisting governments and nongovernmental organizations. Futures Group helps countries uncover barriers, raise awareness of needs, set priorities, discover innovative solutions, and keep track of the ongoing impact and outcome. Policy is most useful when people have a voice in the decisions that touch their lives. Toward that end, we help local organizations participate in policy decision-making. We also help local leaders hold governments accountable to deliver services. This work helps to ensure lasting change for better communities and a better world.

Program Areas
• • • • • • • population and family planning sexual and reproductive health maternal and child health hiv and aids infectious diseases gender poverty and equity

futures group offerings:
• ata analysis and use. Using tested modD els, we compile information and conduct studies and research to uncover gaps in health services, looking beyond those traditionally served or delving carefully into sensitive issues. We simplify complex relationships. • Advocacy. We bring together community groups and officials from all levels of government to make them aware of what is needed and encourage them to make better policy decisions. We provide toolkits as guidelines for groups to advocate for themselves. • Policy implementation and leadership training. Once a policy is written, we see that it becomes part of the health delivery system by supporting local leaders and advocates. • Resource mobilization. We analyze how different approaches affect program costs and help countries identify needed funds.

Technical Services
• policy and advocacy • research and strategic information • ealth markets and private sector h engagement • modeling and economic analysis • health systems strengthening • strategic consulting • program management

• Policy and strategy development. A range • Accountability and monitoring. Is the program of input is needed at different stages of working? Are goals being met? We establish policy development. We bring in the exchecks and balances in the system. perts, from economists to demographers to public policy specialists and public health • Scale up and sustainability. We help launch workers. We design systems to closely small pilot programs to full fledged and vibrant monitor a policy’s impact. systems.
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Record of Results:
• Using data from the FamPlan Model, Futures Group assisted the government of Tanzania to become more realistic in the requirements and costs to meet government family planning targets. We helped Mozambican organizations create workplace HIV policies, including the approval of a national strategic plan for government workers. We assisted with the launch of a private sector network, and successfully advocated for the adoption of workplace HIV policies in 24 companies. We helped increase access to a broader range of contraceptives in Rwanda by compiling evidence on the effectiveness of community-based delivery systems. The findings fed into policy guidelines enabling community health workers to provide injectable contraceptives in the national rollout of the community-based distribution program.

Approach in Action: Nigeria
In Nigeria, access to family planning and reproductive health is essential to improve health outcomes, especially for women and children. But high rates of maternal, child, and infant mortality present a challenge to policymakers, the health sector, and the well being of all citizens. In 2005, the National Health Insurance Scheme was launched in an effort to bring healthcare to all Nigerians, with a focus on providing services to women and children. Under the Health Policy Project, Futures Group strengthened the capacity of the national insurance organization to analyze data for more effective advocacy. With new evidence and insight, the National Health Insurance Scheme determined that cost-effective health interventions such as family planning services would help the country reach its goal of improving women and children’s health. As a result, the insurance plan added family planning services to the benefits package for women of reproductive age under its new community-based health insurance scheme, which provides access to family planning and reproductive health resources.

“Policy work is not won and done. When one problem is solved with a policy breakthrough, new problems emerge. It is important to stay engaged. Policy work is never totally completed.” Sarah Clark Director, Center for Policy and Advocacy Futures Group

Exposing Hidden Violence Against Women
Happiness Soine inherited a farm in the Arumeru District of Tanzania, after her husband died. For 10 years, however, her brother-in-law threatened to kick her off the land. When her brother-in-law tried to rape her, she screamed and he maimed her before running off. Tanzania has no laws protecting women against violence, but Soine did have one measure of recourse: She could go public. A journalist, who heard of Soine’s story, had learned about violence against women in a course organized by the USAID | Health Policy Initiative, a Futures Group project. The project aims to help change policy by exposing issues through the media. The journalist wrote a story about Soine, which drew widespread attention and caused a local police commander to issue an arrest warrant for her brother-in-law. A group of women helped build a new home for Soine, and others publicly condemned violence against women. Soine’s story would have stayed hidden in another time; now the issue is being debated in Tanzania.

Record of Results:
• We assisted the Tanzania Commission for AIDS, which reduces stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV and encourages people to get tested, use available treatment, and stay on treatment, in drafting a national strategic plan. We provided assistance in drafting, costing, and implementing male circumcision policies and guidelines to support HIV prevention in Swaziland and other countries in southern Africa. We used the Gather, Analyze and Plan (GAP) Model to generate evidence on the financing gap for contraceptives in Uganda. This helped the country secure additional funds for family planning from a Global Fund grant to reduce unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women.

Futures Group, the global health consulting firm, helps to protect and promote people’s well-being around the world. For 40 years, Futures Group has created lasting solutions to some of the most pressing public health challenges facing nations. For more information, please visit www.futuresgroup.com, www.facebook.com/FuturesGroup, and www.twitter.com/FuturesGroupGbl.