Founded in 1952, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) works with hard-to-reach populations in some of the world’s toughest places: war-torn Syria, refugee camps in Uganda, and brothels in Bangkok, just to name a few. By 2010, IPPF was facing serious funding and operational challenges. Its financial support had dwindled and the quality of services delivered by 30,000 staff in 172 countries varied greatly around the globe. “We had to boost our performance,” said IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse. “If we didn’t, we were in danger of failing vulnerable groups.”
To help the IPPF transform and improve its service, Redstone worked with the federation to establish systems for collecting and analyzing data from its decentralized network. Based on this information, Redstone helped IPPF create incentives to not only enhance and expand services but also create a broader cultural shift that focused the organization on operational excellence.
“This was a substantial culture change, and its effects will be felt for years to come as we work to help many more women and girls”
– Tewodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF
As a far-reaching federation, IPPF required a flexible approach that could be tailored to local conditions without sacrificing quality. Redstone worked with an internal task force at IPPF to build consensus around 10 core indicators and establish user-friendly tools to track metrics in real-time across the organization and around the world. Financial incentives encouraged improved performance. Technical assistance helped struggling clinics and associations overcome obstacles and provide better services.
Redstone partnered with IPPF to move the new design from idea to reality. Launching a pilot project with eight associations allowed IPPF to work out kinks and build internal champions for reform. Impressive successes early on prompted IPPF’s board to roll out the new performance-based funding system across the organization—a year ahead of schedule. With a new culture of quality in place, IPPF doubled the number of annual services provided, reaching 137 million people, including some of the planet’s most disadvantaged and marginalized citizens.
For further reading, please see “Planned Performance,” a case study by Lee Green, Margot Fahnestock, and Jason Blau featured in the Winter 2015 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review.