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Domestic Resource Mobilization: Key Insights from the 2023 Francophone Africa Learning Circles

Click here to read the post in French.

To explore what works and what doesn’t work in family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs, the Knowledge SUCCESS project launched Learning Circles, an activity designed to meet the need for transparent dialogue and learning between diverse FP/RH professionals. Learning Circles is a set of informal group dialogues for building knowledge around common family planning and reproductive health implementation issues through the use of collaborative methods. This series offers an opportunity to explore and brainstorm solutions and to propose new ideas and tools for change.

The third annual cohort of Knowledge SUCCESS’s Francophone Learning Circles was co-facilitated by our partners at FP2030, the Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit, and the Association des Jeunes Filles pour la Santé de la Reproduction (AJFSR) Niger.

In July-August 2023, in partnership with FP2030, Knowledge SUCCESS co-organized its third Learning Circles cohort for FP/RH professionals based in francophone Africa. Over the course of one month, on a weekly basis, 24 participants from 11 countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Togo) discussed the priority topic, “Domestic Resource Mobilization: Exploring advocacy strategies to increase funding for family planning at the national level.”


The cohort applied an advocacy-focused thematic framework to guide group discussions. This framework is adaptable to a variety of advocacy causes. Inspired by works published by the UNDP, such as the Resource Mobilization Strategy, and by Save the Children, the framework enables groups or organizations to maximize their impact and effectiveness in promoting their goals and values, in our case, the mobilization of national resources. The five stages of the framework, which are also found in the SMART Advocacy stages, ensure that all parties involved have common goals, understand each other’s expectations, know the different audiences, and will work together to tailor messages to specific audiences.


Participants used the knowledge management techniques “Appreciative Inquiry” and “1-4-All” to identify exceptional experiences in advocating for increased funding for family planning at the national level. Appreciative Inquiry helps us rephrase the question “What’s wrong?” to “What’s right?”—and then asks, “How can we amplify what’s working well?” Using 1-4-All, participants shared key success factors and the tools, resources, and processes that allowed them to achieve that success. The following are a few illustrative examples:

Key success factors

  • Private sector, young people and community involvement in mobilizing resources
  • Political will and commitment on the part of the government
  • The mobilization, commitment, and availability of partner development organizations and other key players
  • The establishment of task forces or coalitions
  • Ongoing commitment and availability of young people in youth structures

Key tools, resources and processes

  • Advocating with members of the National Assembly and Administrative and Finance Directors
  • Following up on commitments made by established contacts and designated focal points
  • Setting up in-school and out-of-school health clubs, and training young people in peer education.

A participant based in the DRC from the 2023 francophone Learning Circles cohort joins a virtual session on Appreciative Inquiry.


The third Learning Circles session is centered around a knowledge management technique called “Troika Consulting.” In small groups, participants take turns sharing a challenge they personally face in their advocacy work to increase funding for family planning at the national level, and seek advice from their fellow group members.

Below are examples of challenges identified by participants and proposed solutions:

  • Once we’ve received commitments from decision-makers through advocacy efforts, it’s often difficult to follow up and ensure that these commitments are implemented.
    • Solutions:
      • At the time of advocacy or commitment-seeking, agree on the operationalization plan, process, and deadlines. 
      • Put in place a team or assign individuals to be responsible for ongoing monitoring.
  • There are laws that require budget lines for each institution to support youth organizations, but in reality, this is not enforced.
    • Solutions: 
      • Document the law and all provisions requiring institutions to set aside a budget line.
      • Approach decision-makers with legal instruments and texts.
  • The non-existence of a budget line for family planning in the Ministry of Health
    • Solutions:
      • Formulate a clear message explaining the advantages of making contraceptive methods free of charge to adolescents and young people.
      • Establish solid and convincing arguments.
      • Establish strong alliances.
  • Lack of motivation among young people and youth organizations to mobilize domestic resources.
    • Solutions: 
      • Train young people and raise their awareness of the importance of domestic resources.


In the fourth and final session, participants discussed how to apply lessons learned from the successful implementation of domestic resource mobilization initiatives to the challenges likely to be encountered in future situations. During the session, participants were asked to imagine the following scenario:

In 2026, 4 years from the deadline for achieving FP2030 commitments, government donations account for around 80% of total funding for family planning in francophone African countries. Each country has a budget line for family planning that is 100% consumed, covering the purchase of 100% of contraceptive needs and 90% of the cost of demand creation and service delivery campaigns.

In small groups, participants brainstormed around the factors that would have led to this explosive success, what people would have said, and who would have contributed. Each group then shared their ideas in plenary. A summary of the priority success factors based on the lessons learned that emerged from the groups is listed below:

  • Key factor #1: Significant commitment from all players, especially the government.
  • Key factor #2: Private sector as main source of family planning funding.
  • Key factor #3: Innovative strategies (advocacy), monitoring plans, and documentation of best practices.
  • Key factor #4: Collaboration between and accountability of youth associations.
  • Key factor #5: Family planning as a government priority and good management of allocated resources.


To conclude the virtual series, all participants developed a commitment statement concerning a specific action they planned to take to help solve a specific problem they are facing, related to advocating for increased funding for family planning at the national level, or to scale up what is already working well. Below are examples of participants’ commitments:

  • I commit to update the complete list of youth organizations involved in reproductive health and family planning in my country.
  • I commit to mobilize 5 youth associations.
  • I commit to identify 5 companies with a Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
  • I commit to provide the contraceptive prevalence rate for adolescents and young people in my country.
  • I commit to identify 5 organizations that are experts in the provision of FP/RH services in my country.
  • I commit to identify 2 private structures from which resources can be mobilized in my country.
  • I commit to identify youth organizations involved in FP/RH in the Atlantic and coastal regions of my country.
  • I commit to (1) take stock of youth organizations involved in FP/RH in the Littoral Department and share it with the Monitoring committee for sexual and reproductive health for adolescents and youth and gender-based violence interventions in the Littoral region and (2) share the knowledge I have acquired during this Learning Circles cohort with participants in a forum for young activists in my country.
  • I commit to report on the contraceptive prevalence of adolescents and young people in Littoral/my country over the past quarter.
  • I commit to make a plea to the municipal authorities of my region to have a budget line for family planning in the next budget.
  • I commit to identify private companies from which I can mobilize domestic resources.
  • I commit to draw up a follow-up plan for each plea to mobilize domestic resources from private companies.
  • I commit to train 10 leaders of youth organizations in domestic resource mobilization techniques, and to plan a working session with the Ministry of Health and UNFPA to advocate so that they can provide a budget line for youth activities in the area of ASRH.
  • I commit to raising awareness about resource mobilization, and to advocate with leaders in my area.


Through Learning Circles, francophone African FP/RH staff were able to increase their knowledge and understanding of issues related to advocating for the mobilization of domestic resources for family planning, network and build relationships with colleagues facing similar challenges, and generate new ideas and practical solutions to improve the implementation of FP/RH programs. At the same time, they also learned new knowledge management tools and techniques that they can use in their organizations to facilitate creative ways of sharing knowledge and effective practices.

To find out more about Learning Circles and previous Learning Circles cohorts in French-speaking Africa, click here.

Would you like to host your own Learning Circles cohort to examine successes and challenges around a priority topic? Check out the Learning Circles module on the KM Training Package, which includes session templates, planning guides and other resources.

Fatim S. Diouf

Francophone Country Engagement Lead, FP2030 North, West and Central Africa Hub

Fatim S. Diouf, PMP is a certified project manager with a background in civil engineering. With over a decade working in public health, she has honed her skills in this critical sector. She is currently serving as the Country Engagement Lead for francophone countries in the FP2030 North, West and Central Africa Hub, where she is dedicated to strengthening engagement with countries and wider stakeholders to advance goals of FP2030 in the NWCA region.

Kadiatou Abdoulaye Idani

Présidente, l’Association des Jeunes Filles pour la Santé de la Reproduction

Abdoulaye Idani Kadiatou, diplômée en Communication et Management des Projet et des Organisations est une féministe radicale nigérienne. Elle est la Présidente de l’Association des Jeunes Filles pour la Santé de la Reproduction (AJFSR) et Point Focal Jeune FP2030 et du Partenariat de Ouagadougou. Co facilitatrice de cette Cohorte du Learning Circles francophone 2023.

Béniel Agossou

Youth Lead, Unite de Coordination du Partenariat de Ouagadougou

Béniel est passionné des interventions et de la recherche en santé publique et plus particulièrement en santé de la reproduction. Il capitalise six années d’engagement dans le milieu associatif jeune sur les questions de Droits et Santé Sexuels et Reproductifs. Il jouit d’une expérience professionnelle au Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographie (CERRHUD) où il était focus sur les interventions de réduction de la mortalité maternelle et néonatale. Il a également servi pendant 15 mois en tant que volontaire des Nations Unies dans un établissement pénitentiaire au Bénin avant de rejoindre l’équipe de l’UCPO. Béniel est très enthousiaste à l’idée de contribuer à la mise en œuvre de la stratégie jeune et à l’atteinte du nouvel objectif du Partenariat de Ouagadougou en tant que Youth Lead. Béniel est titulaire d’un Doctorat en Médecine Générale de la Faculté des Sciences de la Santé de Cotonou et d’un Diplôme universitaire en Urgence humanitaire et santé de la reproduction.

Aïssatou Thioye

West Africa Knowledge Management and Partnerships Officer, Knowledge SUCCESS, FHI 360

Aïssatou Thioye est dans la division de l'utilisation de la recherche, au sein du GHPN de FHI360 et travaille pour le projet Knowledge SUCCESS en tant que Responsable de la Gestion des Connaissances et du Partenariat pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest. Dans son rôle, elle appuie le renforcement de la gestion des connaissances dans la région, l’établissement des priorités et la conception de stratégies de gestion des connaissances aux groupes de travail techniques et partenaires de la PF/SR en Afrique de l’Ouest. Elle assure également la liaison avec les partenaires et les réseaux régionaux. Par rapport à son expérience, Aïssatou a travaillé pendant plus de 10 ans comme journaliste presse, rédactrice-consultante pendant deux ans, avant de rejoindre JSI où elle a travaillé dans deux projets d’Agriculture et de Nutrition, successivement comme mass-media officer puis spécialiste de la Gestion des Connaissances.******Aïssatou Thioye is in the Research Utilization Division of the GHPN of FHI 360 and works for the Knowledge SUCCESS project as the Knowledge Management and Partnership Officer for West Africa. In her role, she supports the strengthening of knowledge management in the region, setting priorities and designing knowledge management strategies at the FP/RH technical and partner working groups in West Africa. She also liaises with regional partners and networks. In relation to her experience, Aïssatou worked for more than 10 years as a press journalist, then as an editor-consultant for two years, before joining JSI where she worked on two Agriculture and Nutrition projects, successively as a mass-media officer and then as a Knowledge Management specialist.

Sophie Weiner

Program Officer II, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Sophie Weiner is a Knowledge Management and Communications Program Officer II at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs where she is dedicated to developing print and digital content, coordinating project events, and strengthening capacity for storytelling in Francophone Africa. Her interests include family planning/reproductive health, social and behavior change, and the intersection between population, health, and the environment. Sophie holds a B.A. in French/International Relations from Bucknell University, an M.A. in French from New York University, and a master’s degree in Literary Translation from the Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Alison Bodenheimer

Family Planning Technical Advisor, Knowledge SUCCESS

Alison Bodenheimer is the family planning technical advisor for Knowledge SUCCESS (KS), based within the Research Utilization division at FHI 360. In this role, Alison provides global technical strategic leadership to the project and supports knowledge management activities in West Africa. Before joining FHI 360 and KS, Alison served as postpartum family planning manager for FP2030 and technical advisor for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health with Pathfinder International. Previously, she managed the Francophone Africa advocacy portfolio with Advance Family Planning at Johns Hopkins’ Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. In addition to a focus on reproductive health and family planning, Alison has a background in health and rights in emergencies, most recently consulting for Columbia University and UNICEF in Jordan to improve monitoring and reporting of child rights violations in conflict throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. Fluent in French, Alison has a BA in Psychology and French from College of the Holy Cross and an MPH in Forced Migration and Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.