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Leadership for Reproductive Health (LRH) Forum

Leadership development is a key expertise of LEAD to bring exponential and snow balling impact in any sector of development whether it is education, health, environment or sustainable development. The Leadership for Reproductive Health (LRH) forum is a unique intervention in the health sector.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is projected to be the fourth most populated after India, China and the US by 2050. Its RH credentials are very unsatisfactory – the worst in the region. Leadership is one of the recognised approaches to solve this conundrum – a conundrum The David & Lucile Packard Foundation and LEAD Pakistan forged a partnership in 2007 to tackle!

Under the partnership, LEAD designed and delivered capacity building programs for mid-career RH professionals in two districts of Punjab and Sindh - Lodhran and Khairpur respectively, and with an accumulative population of 3 million. The philosophy behind the initiative was to test the effectiveness of LEAD’s flagship Leadership Development Program [LDP] at the grassroots levels – to create a new generation of leaders that would prove to be an alternative tier for the leadership. LEAD took it is as a research project to see the relevance of LEAD’s leadership model in RH sector at regional or district levels.

LEAD designed a two-year capacity-building/social mobilisation project - Enabling Effective District Leadership for Reproductive Health (LRH-I) in Pakistan – for developing a holistic and visionary leadership to improve FP/RH situation in the two districts that concluded in November 2009. LRH-II was the extension of LRH-I. It focused more on Khairpur but also helped build a 20-member civic watch group in Lodhran to assist, monitor and shape policy level dialogue for improving the RH environment. The assimilation of another group of 34 members to form a larger effective group was also done. The human capital produced in this way helped disseminate knowledge and RH/FP issues through village assemblies and focus-group-discussions in all the “Talukas” (sub districts) of the district.

The LRH Forum was developed to enhance the leadership qualities of the RH professionals so that they could help in improving the RH status of their respective districts. It is an on-line discussion forum open to all and serves the purposes of collecting and disseminating information. It allows participants to distribute articles of interest such as news items, reports and policy papers to its members while also providing an avenue for them to reply to and discuss issues affecting communities. The forum plays an instrumental role in shaping the project activities.

For details visit: http://lplrh.wordpress.com/