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Behind the scenes #9

2016 appears to have passed by in the blink of an eye. Ton Coenen has already served a year as Executive Director of Rutgers. And despite the fact that we have a smaller staff complement than in 2015, we passed no fewer milestones!

We are pleased to offer you a peek behind the scenes at our (international) offices.

Pakistani girls, .pk & .ug

Rutgers Pakistan
Sexual and reproductive health: ‘jee haan!’ Rutgers’ Pakistan office has been carrying out pioneering work throughout the country since 1998. As sexuality education certainly cannot be taken for granted in Pakistan, one of the consequences is a large proportion of teenage pregnancies. Child marriage and sexual abuse are also relatively common occurrences there. A team comprising 21 members of staff nevertheless endeavours to bring about change in this regard.

In 2016 Dr Rubina Ali was placed in charge of our country office in Islamabad, replacing the highly respected Qadeer Baig, who had served as country representative for almost a decade.

As part of the new Right Here Right Now programme, Rutgers Pakistan is engaged in extensive research in collaboration with the Asian-Pacific Research and Resource Centre (ARROW). The two have dual objectives. The first is to set up alliances with potential partner organisations, thereby pooling their respective strengths. The second objective is to chart national legislation relating to sexual and reproductive health & rights (SRHR). This should enable us to set up joint advocacy activities. Incidentally, similar research is being performed in the other countries involved in the RHRN programme.
Furthermore, the Yes I Do, Prevention+ and Get Up, Speak Out (GUSO) programmes were introduced in Indonesia, where all the essentials had been put in place by the close of 2016.

Rutgers Pakistan took the initiative to organise a journalism award for the best item on SRHR in the media. The award was the first of its kind in Pakistan, in effect openly acknowledging the significance of measures to tackle problems in the field of SRHR.

Rutgers Pakistan was part of the official Pakistan Government Delegation attending the annual UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD), thereby contributing directly to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights at international level.

Rutgers Indonesia
Sexual and reproductive health: ‘ya tentu saja!’ Our country office in Jakarta has been operating since 1997. Indonesia continues to struggle with high levels of HIV infection, unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion among its young people. Domestic violence is also commonplace. A local Rutgers staff of 21 cooperates with their network in tackling the aforementioned problems.

During the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Bali, Rutgers Indonesia also organised several successful side-events and a camp for young people. It has also taken steps to forge a partnership with the Indonesian National Family Planning & Population Development Board (BKKBN) which offered it the opportunity to participate in organising a Youth Summit on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in Indonesia, attended by national representatives of NGOs, government ministries and youth organisations.

Given the recommendations made at the youth summit, it is to be expected that Indonesia will also participate in the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), which is being held among 10 to 14-year-olds. The GEAS is vital in the field of SRHR, in that each participating country yields a broad range of data for the purposes of policy-makers, health professionals, intervention developers, parents and the young people themselves.

2016 was very much a year of programmes and alliances. A new advocacy platform was set up within the framework of the Right Here Right Now programme. The platform is designed to strengthen joint advocacy activities in Indonesia.

The GUSO, Prevention+ and Yes I Do programmes are also beginning to take shape here. Partners of Rutgers Indonesia and representatives of these programmes were also involved in the Women Deliver Conference held in Copenhagen. The lessons learned from the completed ASK and UFBR programmes were presented there.
Rutgers Indonesia closed off the year with a roadshow that visited six cities in order to promote sexuality education and to examine the possibilities to scale up operations.

Rutgers Uganda
Sexual and reproductive health: ‘yes & ndiyo!’ Having been founded in 2015, Rutgers Uganda is currently celebrating its second anniversary. This office supports our extensive activities throughout East Africa. The region faces numerous problems, including violence against women, unsafe abortion and large families that barely have enough to support themselves. The office is currently manned by one member of staff.

Strategic planning, the strengthening of partnerships and programme management were the main duties performed in 2016. Rutgers Uganda cooperates closely with local social organisations with a view to improving sexual and reproductive health and rights, while also promoting gender equality.

Our Ugandan office nevertheless faces a quite substantial challenge: a local NGO has launched a campaign which strongly opposes sexuality education. The organisation in question has firmly set its sights on Rutgers and our partners. Rutgers Uganda is nevertheless keeping a close watch on proceedings, while also attempting to alleviate the negative effects of the campaign.

The good news is that efforts in the field of national and international advocacy processes are beginning to prove fruitful! The Ugandan government has pledged to implement a number of the measures recommended in the area of access to contraceptives for young people, sexuality education and safe and legal abortion.

Personnel figures

Total workforce
At year-end 2016, Rutgers and its country offices had a total workforce of 136, performing 119.61 FTE (FTE = full-time equivalent):

Rutgers Netherlands » 79.01 FTE (93 employees)
Rutgers Pakistan » 19.0 FTE (21 employees)
Rutgers Indonesia » 20.6 FTE (21 employees)
Rutgers Uganda » 1.0 FTE (1 employee)

Staff turnover
Rutgers had 34 job vacancies in 2016, 25 of which were filled within the course of the year. For the 9 vacancies remaining in 2017, suitable candidates have either already been found or the recruitment process has reached an advanced stage. A total of 37 people left Rutgers’ employ, the majority of whom did so due to expiry of their contracts, while one was dismissed due to unsuitability.

Rutgers Head Office in the Netherlands had a rate of absenteeism of 5.1 percent in 2016. This is a decline of 0.2 percent in relation to 2015, which can be mainly attributed to the successful reintegration of employees following a period of long-term absence (over six weeks). Rutgers employees reported sick an average of 1.18 times during 2016.
In an effort to further reduce absenteeism, Rutgers has set itself targets of a rate of absenteeism below 4.5 percent and a frequency of absence of less than 1.3. HRM shall continue to pursue the existing preventive measures, aimed at reducing absenteeism, while also advising and coaching managers in means of preventing absence among their staff.

The budget earmarked for training was not fully utilised in 2016. A sum of €70,000 was spent on further training. The resulting budget surplus can be largely attributed to the completion and termination of two major programmes and the increased workload that this entails. Additional stimulus is therefore to be devoted to education throughout 2017.

Andrée van Es (Credits: Mirande Phernambucq, Hollandse Hoogte)
Andrée van Es (Credits: Mirande Phernambucq, Hollandse Hoogte)

Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board elects its own members for a term of three years, whereupon they may be re-elected for a maximum of two further terms. At year-end 2016 the Supervisory Board comprised eight members. As it consists of five women and three men, the Board also complies with the requirements of the IPPF.

The members of the Supervisory Board receive an annual expense allowance of 450 euro. The travelling expenses of members not resident in the Netherlands are also reimbursed.

Andrée van Es (Chair)
Lars Dellemann (since February 2016)
Anita Hardon (since February 2016)
Nicolette Loonen
Tom de Man
Sara Seims (up to February 2017)
Laurent de Vries
Marijke Wijnroks

Summary of the Annual Accounts 2016

The summary of the Annual Accounts contains data relating to Rutgers’ income, expenditure and financial position in 2016.

Rutgers Summary of Financial report

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