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How much funding has been lost by services since US President Trump re-introduced and expanded the Global Gag Rule?

It is still too early – and perhaps may never be possible – to tell exactly how much funding has been lost since the Global Gag Rule was reintroduced at the start of 2017. The new Global Gag Rule has been dramatically expanded and now applies to all Global Health Funding going to non-US NGOs. Projections indicate that at least 1,275 foreign NGOs could be subject to the terms of the expanded Global Gag Rule. Together they received approximately $ 2.2 billion per year. The impact is complicated: some organisations have lost funds directly, others have spent money making hefty changes to the way they deliver services; and there are many examples of the “chilling effect” and distortion of services which are hard to cost. Several researchers are trying to calculate the impact and there is no clear answer yet.

Given how significant this gap is, how does SheDecides plan to fill it?

At the pledging conference in 2017 and in the year after, over $450 million additional funding was pledged in the name of SheDecides. The team only monitored pledges for the first year.

The SheDecides strategy has three goals one of which is to “unlock resources”. The Movement campaigns hard to continue unlocking resources from Governments, foundations and individuals to help create a world in which SheDecides without question.

Does SheDecides have specific fundraising targets?

No. SheDecides is not a fund or funding mechanism and does not aim to raise funds directly. The needs are different everywhere and so the Movement focuses on unlocking resources to deliver the vision of the manifesto: a world in which SheDecides, without question.

If the Global Gag Rule is lifted, will SheDecides continue to exist? And if so, will you continue to try and unlock additional resources?

Absolutely! Although all Friends and Champions of SheDecides are very much looking forward to the day that the Global Gag Rule is overturned, the Movement has since become about much more than that. It is a comprehensive vision of all of the rights that are essential for a woman to decide about her body. It is also important to remember that the information and services needed for women and girls to decide have been seriously underfunded, even before the GGR came along. Read about the vision of SheDecides here.

Who attended the pledging conference in 2017?

Some 450 participants attended the conference on 2 March. Among them were representatives of 53 countries, including 18 ministers and 13 senior staff from headquarter level. From all around the world charitable foundations, parliamentarians, youth leaders, NGOs, academics and private sector representatives attended.

What does it exactly mean that funds are additional?

The pledges listed here reflect funds that had not yet already been budgeted for (by donors) when SheDecides emerged. The money that was pledged comes on top of the - often large - investment that the pledgers are already making to create a world where SheDecides. In this list you can find links to the work that these pledgers are supporting.

Why is some money shown as unallocated?

Due to the different budgeting systems of individual governments and foundations, pledges covered very different time periods (from one to four years) and not all money has therefore been allocated in full as yet.

What sort of organisations are covered in the ‘other’ category?

Other organisations include, for example, grants to communications agencies running campaigns to highlight specific issues relating to the rights of women and girls around the world.

How can my organisation access the funds pledged to SheDecides?

SheDecides is not a fund or new funding mechanism. All funds pledged in the name of SheDecides were or will be distributed through existing channels by the donors who have pledged. The SheDecides Support Unit does not hold or distribute any funds.

Why is the support unit not involved in the distribution of funds pledged in the name of SheDecides?

The people who drove the Movement in the beginning were keen to move quickly and for the funds to have maximum impact. They did not want to create an additional layer of bureaucracy by setting up a fund and an organisation to manage the pledges. Creating a fund or new distribution mechanism is extremely costly and there are many other mechanisms to get funds to the organisations and groups that need them. SheDecides is strongly committed to avoiding duplication and to supporting and amplifying the excellent work that is already underway.

Does the SheDecides support unit have any say over how the money managed by Rutgers is allocated?

No. The criteria for allocating the funds raised through crowdfunding can be found on the Rutgers website.

Why isn’t SheDecides tracking pledges anymore? What are the difficulties associated with tracking this money?

There are several systems for tracking donor expenditure (e.g. OECD DAC classification, NIDI), using different categories and timelines. None of these have a category that match the full scope of actions needed to achieve the vision of SheDecides (from CSE to safe abortion care, through HIV prevention and gender-based violence services). There is no appetite to create a costly and time-consuming new system and asking the SDSU to do this would not be in line with the strategy set for the SheDecides Movement. Several organisations are currently working on creating one single system that would be used by all to keep better track of the investments in the type of activities that help her decide.

Can you break down the money allocated according to the type of service it was used to fund?

We can to a limited extent. Most funding is either core funding (supporting an organisation) or programme funding (often containing a whole range of services).

How much money has gone to family planning services?

Many organisations deliver integrated services. Most funding provided was either core funding or programme funding for a wide range of services. It is therefore impossible to provide an accurate breakdown of precisely how much money has been spent on a specific type of service.

Does the money pledged in the name of SheDecides only go to provide abortion services?

No. Money pledged has been allocated to a wide range of organisations and services dedicated to all aspects of the health, wellbeing and rights of women and girls. Most organisations integrate safe abortion care in a comprehensive range of services.

How much money has been allocated to local, front-line services?

The money that has gone to NGOs and country programmes has mostly been used for front-line services. The funds going through the UNFPA Supplies programme have also helped to ensure the availability of contraceptives at reduced prices or free of charge, distributed by a broad range of clinics.

What has been the impact of the funds pledged?

Overall the impact is that more people, especially women and girls, could get access to life-saving services such as contraception, HIV prevention, testing and treatment, safe abortion care and comprehensive sexuality education. The exact impact of the work done by the organisations that received money is captured in the reports they publish and those they send to their donors. To understand more about the important work of these organisations, please visit their websites and those of their funders.
Total allocations.

Are the SheDecides Support Unit and staff salaries paid for from pledged funds? And if not, how are they paid for?

No. From May 2017 to November 2018, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation paid for the staff salaries and other costs to set up a small team dedicated to supporting the global Movement. Since December 2018, a small group of donors, including the governments of Belgium and Denmark, have set aside funds to pay for the operating costs so that all money pledged in the name of SheDecides can go to the causes and organisations that need it.