Unlocking resources- Pledges made so that SheDecides
SheDecides was originally launched as a reaction to the reintroduction and dramatic expansion of the Global Gag Rule , and to make sure that essential programmes that would suffer significant cuts in funding would be able to continue.
On 2 March 2017, a global pledging conference was convened by four ministers (from Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands & Sweden) and pledges were made to provide an additional $200 million to reduce the impact of regressive US policies and to help create a world in which SheDecides without question. Between March 2017 and March 2018, a further $253 million of additional funding was pledged in the name of SheDecides. 'Additional' means money that was not already budgeted or pledged when SheDecides took off.
There was no separate SheDecides fund set up by the pledgers. All the funds pledged were directly distributed by donors to the organisations they themselves chose (see below). The SheDecides Support Unit did not receive or manage these funds, nor did the team or the group of SheDecides Champions have a say in how the funds should be allocated.
Investments in a world where SheDecides continue to be announced by Champions and others, including at the International Conference on Family Planning in Rwanda and at the pledging conference for the Global Financing Facility (both in November 2018). While pledges continue to be made ‘so that SheDecides’ the Champions decided to stop counting SheDecides pledges beyond the first year.
The SheDecides movement remains firmly committed to unlocking resources so that the full vision of the manifesto – a world where SheDecides - can be realised. SheDecides Champions and Friends will therefore continue to create political will, hold one another accountable and press for more money going to the full range of quality information and services that women and girls need to be able to decide about their bodies, including as part of the global drive towards Universal Health Coverage.
Where did the pledges come from?
Up to 8 March 2018, 11 countries, 4 foundations and 1 anonymous donor have pledged a total of some $453 million in additional money to make sure that SheDecides.
The following diagram provides a breakdown of the pledges made between March 2017 and March 2018 – the first year of SheDecides. Some of the pledges provided were for one year and some were for up to four years. Those Governments and organisations that initially pledged for one year – and indeed many new donors – have since provided additional funding in subsequent years and so the total sums provided for relevant causes and organisations since the launch of SheDecides is more than the first $453 million.
Citizens and smaller foundations have jointly contributed €500,000 to the crowdfunding platform managed by Rutgers (Netherlands) in the first year of SheDecides. This has been distributed to the Reproductive Health Network in Kenya, an organisation that was badly impacted by the Global Gag Rule. The decision about who receives these funds is made by Rutgers, whose Executive Director, Ton Coenen, is a SheDecides Champion.
And where did the money go to?
The governments and foundations that pledged in the first year of the SheDecides movement have allocated their funds to a wide range of organisations. Each donor decided where the money would be allocated. Nearly all of these pledges have now been turned into fully signed agreements with the organisations receiving funds. In some cases the agreements cover multiple years, and so it will take time for the funds to be fully disbursed.
The diagram below shows how the pledges are roughly distributed among the main categories:
- NGOs and direct support to countries [for an overview click here]
- UN agencies and programmes and other multilateral organisations [for an overview click here]
- Other: funds going to projects outside the big categories, such as support to communications campaigns, or funds that have yet to be allocated by the relevant donor.