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 and have processed 6,000 eligible applications from 85 countries, endorsing 930 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.
Since 2014, we have 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 to create a more sustainable legal basis and governance set-up. This allows for greater predictability and security for grantees.
On 25 February 2020, eight Members came together to register AmplifyChange as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Our 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 also 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.
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.
Nothing will change for current grantees. You 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. Our Fund director, Rolla Khadduri, will also remain in place during transition following a decision by the Board of Directors.
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. Our Board of Directors is in the process of exploring the potential of a funding round to support the COVID-19 response.
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.