BL for Indonesian family planning

Zuellig Family Foundation’s “Bridging Leadership” (BL) Framework for health has now reached Indonesia thanks to a partnership among the United Nations Population Fund’s offices in the Philippines and Indonesia, the Philippine Commission on Population (PopCom) and the Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional (BKKBN-National Population and Family Planning Board).

Seeing BL’s value to the Indonesian health system, which is also devolved, PopCom invited ZFF to make a presentation of its strategic intervention in leadership and governance before an audience of Indonesians during their program in General Santos City in Mindanao. From that short session, ZFF found itself collaborating with PopCom for an internship program for its Indonesian partners involved in reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) programs.

The six-day “Internship of Indonesian Implementer on Decentralization and Family Planning and Reproductive Health Program” included a two-day training workshop and an educational trip to ZFF’s partner-municipality of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur. In all, 14 Indonesians attended the program.

Working in the provincial offices of the BKKBN, the participants’ learning from the internship program is intended to make them the bridging leaders who will serve as the link between the national and provincial offices and the local government units or the districts, much like the responsibilities of the Filipino DOH representatives (DOH Reps), whom ZFF has been training to become effective “coaches” to mayors when it comes to improving local health systems.

Despite differences in languages, the Indonesian participants expressed appreciation for the program with one of them, Samidjo, UNFPA Indonesia programme officer, asking for more reference materials they can read so they can have more in-depth knowledge of ZFF’s teachings.

For Dr. Djoko Sulasno Nimpuno, head of the Family Welfare Office in Bantul district, the short course on BL improved his “self-esteem” and taught him “how to implement the program” he was in charge of in his country. And having heard the leadership journey narration of Santol, La Union mayor Daisy Sayangda, who underwent ZFF’s program in 2012, Sustra Dewi of Bangka Belitung district, another training participant, was also “inspired by what ZFF has done to municipalities” and hopes to be able to implement the same in her area in Indonesia.

At the closing of the internship program following their trip to Surigao del Sur province, where they also heard provincial governor Johnny Pimentel and Hinatuan mayor Candelario Viola Jr. share their leadership stories, the trainees gained greater appreciation for the importance of making RH and FP programs not only the responsibility of their leaders and district health officers but more importantly, of the community. They presented specific action plans integrating their new learning to strengthen their program implementation in Indonesia.

Country representative of UNFPA Philippines Klaus Beck, at his closing speech, also emphasized that its partnership program with the Philippines and Indonesia is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 17, which is on strengthening global partnerships for development.

Since 2009, ZFF has been using the BL framework to transform local health leaders—mayors, municipal health officers and relevant regional health officers like the DOH Reps in the hopes of improving the health outcomes of the Filipino poor.

Facilitating the two-day training workshop in Manila were members of ZFF’s Community Health Partnership Program team led by its director Bien Nillos, M.D., Romulo Nieva, Michael San Roque and ZFF’s partnership associate Sealdi Calo-Gonzales.