While women in developing countries continue to die in large numbers in child birth, Population and Reproductive Health specialists and advocates around the world are struggling to keep the policy agenda focused on the rights and needs of poor women. The 1994 Cairo Conference and Program of Action changed how we do business, and opened many doors, but the agenda is not complete and has stalled in a number of ways. At the country level, governments and donors are making difficult choices about how and where to allocate scarce human and financial resources. Funding approaches have moved away from the implementation of narrowly directed health programs to a broader approach of health system development and reform. At the same time, countries are also centering their development agenda on the broad goal of poverty reduction.
This volume addresses a large knowledge and capacity gap in the Reproductive Health community and provides tools for key actors to empower faster positive change. It is a synopsis of the materials developed for WBI's learning program on Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Poverty Reduction, Reproductive Health and Health Sector Reform. The volume brings together knowledge about epidemiology, demography, economics, and trends in global financial assistance. The volume also introduces practical tools such as benefit incidence analysis, costing, and stakeholder analysis to strengthen the evidence base for policy and to address the political economy factors for reform.