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Anne Coolen

Anne Coolen - 2019 Nominee
Position: Country Director
Organization: Marie Stopes Ghana
Current Location: Ghana
Master Social Sciences from CIDIN, Radboud University
75 Public Votes Reached!
As country director, Anne led the team to secure over USD 8M funding for various Family Planning initiatives, including the "Evolving Model", a project that will ensure capacity building and sustainability of FP services in the public sector – Joseph Adu, Medical Director at Marie Stopes Ghana
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

In the Marie Stopes Mali program I led for over 4 years, we accelerated growth from 160.000 CYPs in 2012 to over 500.000 CYPs in 2016. We implemented a range of strategies for increased reach and impact.
Since 2017, under my leadership, we transformed the Marie Stopes Ghana program and developed a future proof strategy for both the public and private sector, leading to an evolving model for the public sector and the social franchise relaunch to move towards a sustainable model in the private sector in line with the country’s progression. Furthermore, we got the green light to implement a pilot on the inclusion of FP in the benefit package of National Health Insurance. The learnings of the pilot will further support advocacy for integration of FP in Universal Health Coverage.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Too many young girls die as a result of unsafe abortions. I strongly believe that women should have a right to choose and that no woman should have to justify her choices. I am passionate to ensure that right is recognized and to further ensure that women know their choices and have access to the best quality of services once they make their choice. Taking up family planning is one of the key choices women can make to prevent unsafe abortion.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Leadership through advocacy. We have formed partnership to be a strong advocate at national level to remove barriers in law, policies as well as protocols. The pilot on the inclusion of Family planning in the benefit package of national health insurance, task sharing on implants and IUDs, integrating CSE in the school curriculum, and advocating for the realization of the FP2020 commitments on budget allocation to Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights are just a few of the examples.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I wrote a piece on leadership for the future of family planning beyond 2020 in which I laid out that we need to break out of our bubble and look further than the echo chamber that is our family planning community if we want to achieve the impact we desire in the next 10 to 15 years. In order to achieve that we will need to use social media techniques to create the movement of change. This $1000 grant can contribute a little to get our message through those channels.

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