Putting AmplifyChange on a sound footing for the future

AmplifyChange registers as an independent entity.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are fundamental to human dignity and well-being but remain underfunded and contested in many countries. Advocates are crucial to advancing and defending SRHR against global pressures and attempts to roll-back gains.

AmplifyChange grantees have contributed to positive change by improving 34 policies and laws in 24 countries. As a fund, we receive strong demand from civil society. We have received applications from 90 countries and have processed 6,549 eligible applications, endorsing 1,016 grants. Our grants have enabled civil society organisations to prioritise SRHR by breaking the silence on issues such as gender-based violence, unsafe abortion, stigma and discrimination.

Transitioning into a not-for-profit, independent entity creates opportunities for AmplifyChange:

Since 2014, a consortium consisting of the African Women Development Fund, the Global Fund for Women and led by Mannion Daniels, has managed AmplifyChange as a project based on contractual agreements with our donor partners. The fund has grown from strength to strength and we have learnt important lessons about SRHR advocacy. The hard work and policy gains of our grantees is proof of the urgent need for our fund. We must now build on this success. Becoming a not-for-profit, independent entity allows for:

  • Better access to donor funds, thereby creating greater predictability and security for grantees.
  • A more solid and inclusive governance structure.
  • A strategy (soon to be published) to which AmplifyChange can be held accountable.

New and diverse governance

On 25 February 2020, eight Members came together to register AmplifyChange as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. This is the same type of registration as organisations such as Marie Stopes International, Oxfam and Amnesty have. Our founding Members are representatives of civil society with a youth and inclusion focus, including members of parliament and former ministers, as well as independent members of the original AmplifyChange governance. To steer us through the changes, our members have appointed a transitional Board of Directors chaired by Dr Narmeen Hamid. She has supported AmplifyChange in South Asia for several years, and we will gain from her social inclusion and gender credentials.

Consulting our grantees

We held a series of consultations with grantees to help identify opportunities for the strategic direction of AmplifyChange. We thank all of you who contributed to this process. The Board of Directors will use these valuable contributions to inform and launch a strategy, identifying our priorities for the next few years. Our ambition is to sustain and build on the gains already made by grantees. We will continue making grants, building grantees’ capacity, and partnering with Southern-based groups – especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Continuity for grantees

Nothing will change for current grantees, who will continue to work with the same team. Grant applications and payments will be processed as normal. We continue to be guided by our principles of openness, transparency and flexibility. The changes taking place will strengthen our internal processes and will not affect your grant. Following a decision by the Board of Directors, our Fund Director, Rolla Khadduri, will remain in place during the transition until the new CEO has been appointed. Recruitment for the position of CEO will start soon.

Adapting to the future of SRHR during a pandemic

The new organisational setup of AmplifyChange allows for an agile response to developments in SRHR and global health crises. COVID-19 emerged as a reality in the middle of this registration process. We are all adjusting to the implications of the pandemic. We are working closely with grantees to understand how partners are coping and how projects can be adapted.

We have launched a series of ‘How-to’ guides featuring impressive examples of how grantees have adapted to COVID-19, including responses to difficult situations such as increased gender-based violence and challenges for marginalised populations.

It is only through the hard work of grantees that we can confidently take this next step. We look forward to continuing this journey and evolution together.