PAI - 50 Years of Impact

Unparalleled Leadership And Impact

When I was in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic, I became close with two young girls. They were my lifelines. They taught me how to get clean water, where to bathe, and how to cook — essentially how to survive thousands of miles from home.

They always showed up when I needed them, and I cared about them.

I remember clearly the day they left the village for their female genital cutting ceremonies. My heart ached. They were so excited for this rite of passage, but I could only see the health consequences that awaited them. For them, it was the only door available to walk through to become a woman.

That was the moment that set me on the path to becoming a leader for women’s reproductive rights. My commitment to making my life matter for my young friends led me to PAI. These girls had always shown up for me when I needed them, and working at PAI was my opportunity to be there for them and for girls like them. PAI has been showing up — with unparalleled impact — for 50 years. And we do so in ways both meaningful and strategic, with skills both needed and valued: impassioned advocacy to remove policy barriers between women and the reproductive care that is their right; expert research that builds political will; and partnership to support a global network of champions in the developing world. Being a leader starts with a simple act of showing up.

But it’s not enough.

Without a clear vision, a core passion, and guiding principles, we cannot create a better future for women and girls. Over the years, PAI’s work has met at the intersections of the world’s most pressing needs, with one constant always at the center: our mission to ensure that every woman can make her own reproductive health decisions.

That mission has led PAI through the triumphs, like when a woman finally gets the contraception she needs, and the moments of heartbreak, like when a bill fails in Congress. Our core conviction keeps us evolving and propels us forward, smarter and more committed after every win and every loss.

I could not be more proud to share PAI’s annual report, especially this year, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. From our programmatic achievements to our financial results, PAI continually exhibits unparalleled leadership. We have everything it takes to advance the agenda for all people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights — including, fortunately, you.

Thank you for being by our side as a trusted ally, supporter and friend. Best,

Suzanne Ehlers
President & CEO

Impassioned Advocates For Girls And Women

A woman’s reproductive health, especially her access to contraception, is the most important factor in her ability to improve her life and determine her future.

But policies made in the U.S. can stand between her and critical services — even when they are available. In these moments, we need passionate advocates to remove barriers and ensure the right policies pave the way for women to reach care, and for care to reach women.

For 50-years, PAI has brought a steady voice for reproductive rights to the U.S. Congress and the executive branch. Our advocacy has removed policy barriers between women and their rights, and helped ensure the United States is a global leader in reproductive health.

PAI was instrumental in establishing the population assistance program at the United States Agency for International Development in 1965. We have protected funding and championed increases in U.S. government spending on reproductive health programs — funding which has grown from $35 million in 1967 to $600 million today.

Those dollars mean tangible and measureable improvements in women’s lives.

In just a generation, the percentage of women using contraception in the developing world has risen from less than 10 percent to more than half. Yet, when U.S. policies let women down, PAI has been tireless in documenting their effects and calling for their repeal. PAI’s "Global Gag Rule Impact Project" — and its groundbreaking film and report, "Access Denied" — was the first of its kind to expose the harmful effects of the Global Gag Rule, a policy that withheld U.S. foreign assistance funding from organizations that provided legal abortion services with their own non-U.S. funds.

Our passion hasn’t waned.

Today, PAI is calling on President Obama to take action on the Helms Amendment, which has been used to deny abortion care to women overseas who have been raped, are victims of incest, or whose pregnancies put their lives in danger.

Whenever restrictive U.S. policies stand between women and their rights, or funding for reproductive health is threatened, PAI’s fight will continue. We will remain impassioned advocates for women and girls.

An Expert In Family Planning

Pai’s unique expertise couples incisive research with innovative advocacy to change minds and improve women’s lives.

Throughout our 50 year history, PAI’s analysis has served as a critical tool for advocates on the ground to work with policy makers to advance reproductive health and rights.

Our research makes the link between family planning and international development, and shows decision makers how empowering women with access to contraception benefits their communities and nations. PAI was the first and most prominent organization to launch a climate change initiative, where we highlighted the link between women’s health and rights and population dynamics as a central element in adapting to changing climates. Our 11-part research series, "Why Population Matters," was a groundbreaking report highlighting the connection between reproductive rights and climate change, food security, and HIV, among other issues.

PAI has always seen a woman’s access to contraception as intrinsically linked to her empowerment and autonomy. "A Measure of Survival", a detailed 2007 report calculating women’s sexual and reproductive risk in almost every country around the world, called attention to the dismal progress being made in getting women access to reproductive health care. The report became an invaluable tool for advocates, decision makers, donors, and the media to assess the state of women’s lives and health in low- and middle-income countries.

Our new publication, "Rights and Results: A Reproductive Health Index", measures where women in 62 low- and lowermiddle-income countries stand in attaining sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Index captures factors driving the attainment of sexual and reproductive health and rights and enables us to understand the concrete steps that countries around the world are (or are not) taking to fulfill citizens’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.

We know advocates around the world have depended on PAI’s expertise for the last 50 years to make progress for women in their communities, and we will continue to be the go-to source for cutting-edge analysis for the next 50 as an expert in family planning.

Download 2014 Annual Report

Champions Of Global Reproductive Rights

PAI works at the intersection of international, regional, and national advocacy to advance reproductive health and create a global network of champions of reproductive rights.

We connect the dots — the advocates, initiatives, and strategies — at each of these levels to make real impact in the lives of women and their families around the world.

For 50 years, PAI has connected advocates across communities and issues across advocacy agendas. We bring first-class advocacy expertise and coaching, targeted financial investments, and an unwavering belief that reproductive health and rights are a critical component to addressing the world’s most pressing development challenges.

In 2014 alone, PAI awarded more than $700,000 to advocates in 21 countries through initiatives like RH BudgetWatch, which promotes access to contraceptives by fostering oversight over budget expenditures and allocations, and the Opportunity Fund of Advance Family Planning, a flexible source of funding for advocates to seize emerging policy opportunities. These have led to significant advocacy victories.

Over the years, we have served as the axis point for our partners on the ground. From our global leadership, which connects partners to global platforms, to our involvement in the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, to our current role in ensuring reproductive health and rights is included in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, PAI shows up where it matters and makes an impact that is both lasting and leveraged.

Now, as we turn toward the next 50 years, PAI is more relevant than ever. PAI’s President Suzanne Ehlers is co-lead of the Rights and Empowerment Working Group of FP2020, a global partnership dedicated to providing family planning information and services to 120 million more women and girls around the world by the year 2020. In 2014, the group developed 10 human rights principles — agency, autonomy, availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality, empowerment, equity, and nondiscrimination — to form the bedrock on which all reproductive health programs should be built.

We will continue to stand at the intersections of leadership and partnership, and advocacy and impact — just as strongly as we stand for women — as champions of global reproductive rights.

“In just a generation, the percentage of the women using contraception in the developing world has risen from 10% to more than half”

Population Action International 2014

PAI 2014 Financials

Download 2014 Auditors' Report

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