It was in 2012 when the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and ZFF first formed a partnership for a four-year joint project on “Strengthening Provincial and Municipal Health Champions.” In 2018, another partnership was forged to pilot the “Youth Leadership and Governance Program” (YLGP) in Mindanao municipalities whose leaders had finished a ZFF health leadership and governance program.

In the 2012 partnership, ZFF’s health leadership formation programs helped empower governors and mayors drive healthcare reforms in their respective provincial and municipal units, particularly in reproductive health, family planning, and adolescent sexual programs.

Nine provinces and 59 municipalities were covered by the partnership. The provinces are: Ifugao, Mountain Province, Camarines Norte, Albay, Eastern Samar, Surigao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Sultan Kudarat, and Saranggani.

For the YLGP, an initial set of 10 municipalities forms the first cohort followed by 40 more in the succeeding years. The goal is to give youth leaders of the Sangguniang Kabataan (Council of Youth) capacities to lead the design and implementation of programs that can reduce incidence of adolescent pregnancies.