Reproductive Health Advocacy Network for Africa (RHANA)
The African SRHR CSO League: Background
Sexual and reproductive health - and particularly rights - are in many contexts not a given. Advancing SRHR for women, men, youth and adolescents requires a strong, commitment and engagement of stakeholders as well as accountability of duty bearers. Research evidence identified ‘forging strategic alliances’ to be among strategies operationalizing the Africa Continental SRHR framework. Further evaluations supported and demonstrated that networks and coalitions play an important role in bringing about policy change, and different policy actors play different roles in bringing about policy change.
Cognisant of this, IPPF AR in 2009 established the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network for Africa (RHANA) during a regional meeting held in Nairobi Kenya to advance a rights based and people-centered development in Africa through reducing maternal deaths and ensuring universal access to SRHR; in the context of Africa Development guided by the Maputo Plan of Action.
With a minimum structure (a secretariat based at IPPFARO and an elected steering committee of 5 members), the RHANA was instrumental in bringing together CSOs in multi-stakeholder engagement fora; facilitating information sharing and exchanges, and enabling meaningful participation, consultations and dialogues with decision makers in particular during the ICPD Beyond 2014 process. RHANA engagement had tangible outcomes coalescing views and influencing policy processes to improve SRHR. However the RHANA as a group has remained inactive for some time, although its members continue to be committed to champion and advocate for SRHR in Africa and the Secretariat continue receiving application for RHANA membership.
No doubt; fairly good continental policy frameworks such as MPoA, AU 2063 Agenda, Abuja Declaration and the Addis Declaration on ICPD exist to enforce SRHR in Africa. In addition, African governments are responsive signing and ratifying international policy instruments providing for SRHR like the agenda 2030 SDGs, ICPD beyond 2014, and FP2020. Of concern though is that adherence and positions of governments on SRHR are not coherent, sometimes contradict existing commitments, thus SRHR still remain with little or no political and financing commitments. As a result Africa Sub Sahara region has the lowest indicators on maternal and child mortality, GBV, FGM, and on unwanted and teenage pregnancies.
IPPFAR strongly believes that adequate CSO involvement in engaging and monitoring policy development and implementation will positively impact the provision of SRHR services and information for all in Africa. Thus, IPPFAR remains committed to supporting and enabling CSOs empowerment and involvement in SRHR policy making and implementation.
We call upon SRHR stakeholders at national and regional levels to build on RHANA’s work and experience (including successes and failures) as well as on best coalition building practices at national and regional levels to build formidable CSO movements to ensure SRHR for all. The Siyakwazi youth network in South Africa is one of such successful coalitions with strong partnership with national institutions that could be emulated.
To address this IPPFAR will convene a 3 days meeting that includes a 1 day consultation of RHANA members only to be followed by 2 days deliberations of all invited participants
The main objective of this meeting is to convene SRHR stakeholders to revive and improve RHANA into a stronger African CSO coalition/league for SRHR.
To review RHANA (RHANA members only)
To share and highlight good practices and networking models for SRHR
To discuss and adopt strategies for capacity development, partnerships and accountability
To establish an SRHR League and agree on the way forward
A communique on the CSO League
An agreed follow up work methodology and strategy
RHANA membership and competitive online application,
Venue and date
05-07 December 2016 in Sandton (Johannesburg), South Africa.
 Oronje, R.N (2011)
 Sabatier, P (1993) and Kingdon J. (2003)
 RHANA is an advocacy network established for the specific purpose of advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of Africa Development.