Empowering women in poor urban settings
A single investment in family planning has the power to tackle many global challenges, including gender equity, maternal and child deaths, human rights, urban poverty, and climate change. Women are key to shaping inclusive, sustainable societies. However, lack of access to modern family planning options deprives women of having the choice to pursue an education and decent work.
In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Bayer has set ambitious sustainability targets, and access to family planning is a key aspect. By 2030, Bayer intends to provide 100 million women in low-and middle-income countries with access to family planning by funding multi-stakeholder aid programs and by ensuring the supply of the full range of affordable modern contraceptives.
A new collaboration in the field of family planning is a milestone on our way to reaching this goal. Along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors, Bayer funds The Challenge Initiative (TCI). TCI has demonstrated that its approach to family planning works and can change the way that business is done in the development landscape.
TCI provides cities in Africa and Asia with a bold approach to rapidly and sustainably scale high-impact access to family planning and reproductive health solutions for women and girls living in urban poverty. TCI’s approach is designed to ensure long-lasting and sustainable impact.
Bayer has been an established partner in the family planning ecosystem for decades, providing a broad range of contraceptives to programs of the United Nations and to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Investing in TCI means that Bayer will be a part of a family planning program with the potential to be the largest, scalable program in the world that empowers local systems.
TCI has been proven to work in urban settings in developing countries by supporting local governments to design, implement, and monitor these solutions. Part of the success stems from the active engagement of the cities and their local governments. Cities self-select to be part of TCI and lead the implementation of these approaches themselves. In addition to sharing their proven approaches with the cities, TCI provides financial support and technical coaching to support implementation.
Bayer’s investment is intended to bring TCI to the next level of growth and footprint, aiming for a long-term impact to provide several millions of women with the freedom of choice regarding their family planning.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health initiated the project “The Challenge Initiative” or “TCI” in 2016, with the aim to scale reproductive health solutions in urban areas across four regional hubs of East Africa, Francophone West Africa, India, and Nigeria. In the three years since 2016, TCI delivered evidence of scale, impact, sustainability, and cost-efficiency. It is currently working with approx. 100 local governments to implement family planning solutions.