CSO Partners for Change


Partners for Change

About Us


One of the main features of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994 was the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the process. This commitment has continued ever since and is now highly visible as part of the activities already underway to celebrate ICPD+25.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region includes not only countries in Europe but also those in North America and Central Asia and Israel. As such, the region is diverse, but there is a common thread among CSOs in all its countries to promote and support the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. This includes participation in the UNECE Regional Conference on ICPD+25, Enabling Choices: Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development, which is being organized jointly by UNECE and UNFPA, and will  be held in Salle XVIII in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1-2 October 2018.

It is, however, important for CSOs to be able to coordinate their inputs into such a process. This will be done through a period of dialogue in the weeks leading up to the end of September 2018 with a one-day Civil Society Consultation – Partners for change: Civil society engagement in ICPD+25 in the UNECE regionbeing held at the Warwick Hotel, rue de Lausanne 14, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday 30 September 2018 from 08.30 – 18.00. 

The outcomes of, and recommendations from the Consultation will be presented during the UNECE Conference and will also be forwarded to the UN Secretary-General for inclusion in his report for the 2018 session of the UN Commission on Population and Development, which will consider the “Review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development at the global, regional and national levels.”

In order to ensure the maximum inputs into the process and the fullest involvement of CSOs, this Partners for Change website has been set up. 

The Partners for Change website will provide up-to-date information on the processes for the UNECE Conference and the CSO Consultation. It will also share information on examples of good practice, obstacles to progress and gaps identified by CSOs in the implementation of the recommendations as included in the Chair’s summary (ADDLINK) of the ICPD beyond 2014 review at the Regional Conference Enabling choices: Population Priorities for the 21stCentury(1-2 July 2013, Geneva). And, following the Consultation and the Conference, it will make available their outcomes, which will go forward to the UN Secretary-General for inclusion in his report.

The Partners for Change website is run by the Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat), Marianne Haslegrave, Director, and Dr Jotham Musinguzi, Chair. We invite your contributions and comments by contacting us at partnersforchange@commat.org


Informal Steering Group

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Ton Coenen

Executive Director of Rutgers, Expert Centre on Sexuality the Netherlands

Ton Coenen is the Executive Director of Rutgers, centre of expertise on SRHR in the Netherlands and operating in 18 countries. Ton is chair of EuroNGOs, the European network of NGOs working on SRHR internationally. Ton holds Master degrees in Public Health and Public Management. Ton was former executive director of AIDS Fund for 17 years and worked in public health before that. He has been involved in strengthening civil society as co-chair to the EU civil society Forum on HIV/AIDS, as co-chair to HIV in Europe, Board member to Icaso, and as Board member to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Ton is member of the supervisory board of the Dutch Council for Refugees.



Nurgul Djanaeva

Forum of Women’s NGOS of Kyrgyzstan

Nurgul Dzhanaeva is working on women's rights, women's empowerment since 1994.

I am fascinated and frustrated to see changes in the world and prefer to find solutions. Strongly believe in growing and important role of civil society.


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Lewis James Emmerton

CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality

Lewis Emmerton is the Advocacy Officer at CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, a youth-led organization that actively promotes and supports the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people worldwide. Within this position Lewis coordinates youth-led advocacy at the national and international level, with a focus on UN processes in New York and Geneva.

In a world where half of the world’s population is under the age of 25, the involvement and leadership of young people in international, regional and national processes is essential. Through his advocacy work at CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, Lewis strengthens the capacity of organisations in meaningful youth participation and supports young people to engage successfully in advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Lewis has over seven years’ experience in the non-governmental sector focusing on gender equality, youth health and rights. Prior to joining CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality Lewis worked within the Secretariat of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in the Republic of Moldova, the British Red Cross as well as with youth-led and refugee rights organisations in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

Lewis is a member of the UNFPA Youth Leadership Working Group, the Young Feminist Caucus, the Reproductive Health Supplies Youth Caucus, Generation Now Core group and is an a Advisory Group member for the Refugee Rights Data Project.

A British national, Lewis holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations from the University of Leeds. Lewis is currently based in Amsterdam and can be reached here; Lewis@CHOICEforYouth.org


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Sargis Ghazaryan

Y-PEER network

Sargis Ghazaryan is the international coordinator in charge of advocacy and partnership of Y-PEER youth network. He is also currently a fellow at International institute for Youth Development PETRI-Sofia. A bachelor student at Sofia university in major of political science. His main fields are: sexual health and reproductive rights, youth participation, gender equality and peacebuilding. He is based in Sofia Bulgaria but at the same time is managing some projects in Armenia in regards of conflict transformation with the support of EU.



Leah Hoctor

Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)


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An Huybrechts

Lead Global and Sustainable Development at the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) www.ippfen.org


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Pauline Mukanza

European Women’s Lobby

Pauline Mukanza is the President of the European YWCA and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Women’s Lobby. Pauline is a Swedish-Ugandan gender expert with a background in project management, training design for capacity building and diplomatic communications to strengthen relationships. She has lived and worked in Sweden, England, Uganda, Lithuania and Switzerland, holds an MA in Gender and International Relations and a BA in Politics and


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Silvia Perel-Levin

NGO Committee on Ageing

Silvia Perel-Levin is Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing at the United Nations in Geneva and Representative of the International Longevity Centre - Global Alliance. An advocate for the human rights of older persons, Silvia focuses on violence against older women and on the intersections of gender, age and disability. Silvia has been working in the fields of health and ageing for nearly 20 years at the WHO, UICC and as an independent 



Marta Szostak

Astra Network






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Alanna Armitage

UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Alanna Armitage is a Regional Director for UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with over 25 years’ experience in promoting women’s health and human rights. Alanna joined UNFPA in 1992, and has served in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Prior to joining UNFPA, Alanna worked for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Programme.

Alanna holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, Post Graduate degrees in International Development and Cooperation from the University of Ottawa and Health Systems Management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Yvonne Bogaarts


Yvonne Bogaarts has been managing the Advocacy Department of Rutgers since 2003. She has focussed on mobilising young people for SRHR and supported setting up a Dutch and European youth organisation for SRHR, now called CHOICE for youth and sexuality and YouAct. She has been a member in numerous networks, including Share-Net Netherlands and was Vice-chair of EuroNGOs. Yvonne was one of the founding members of the Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) joint programme. She was actively engaged in the ICPD@20 process and the post2015 development agenda. The current Advocacy team comprises 10 staff, engaged in SRHR advocacy at domestic, regional and international level and advocacy capacity strengthening. Yvonne has a degree in Non-western Sociology, and has worked in development cooperation in Indonesia and India.


Viktor Damjanovski


Viktor Damjanovski, 22, Skopje - Macedonia. Bachelor's degree in analytical biochemistry. Volunteer and activist for 5 years, peer-educator for CSE for 3 years. In my peer-educator years I have taught over 300 young people and trained 3 generations of national peer-educators and one generation of international peer-educators. Passionate about human rights with special interest in sexual and reproductive rights.

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Neil Datta

EPF Secretary

Neil Datta has been the Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) since 2004. EPF is a network of parliamentarians from across Europe who are committed to championing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Together with a select group of parliamentarians, Neil founded the organisation in 2000 with the support of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN). Since then, he has been responsible for the growth of EPF to its current membership of 30 all-party parliamentary groups on population and development.

Neil has over fifteen years experience in the field of political involvement in population and development. He holds a Master's Degree in European Public Administration from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Languages from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Neil holds 5 nationalities (British, French, Indian, USA and Canada) and is bilingual English/French.

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Marta Diavolova

UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Marta Diavolova is a Regional Adviser on Strategic Partnerships at UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Under her portfolio, she coordinates the work related to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ICPD Programme of Action follow up and review processes, among other issues. Prior to that, Marta worked for over 15 years with WHO and UNFPA to promote women’s health, development and human rights.

Marta is Bulgarian and has graduated midwifery; and a Master’s degree in Public Health. 


Eduard Jongstra

Mr. Jongstra is a demographer by training, a graduate from Groningen University in The Netherlands. He has more than 25 years of experience as a technical adviser, particularly in relation to censuses and surveys. Mr. Jongstra joined UNFPA in 2004 as technical adviser on Population and Development. He has worked in the Arab region, South Asia, the Pacific, and is since five years stationed at UNFPA’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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Bojan Jovanovski

Health Education and Research Association

Bojan Jovanovski is Executive Director of HERA – Health Education and Research Association since 2006. He has worked in the NGO sector for almost 20 years covering variety of sectors, including child rights, humanitarian relief and SRHR. He was involved in many national health committees, including Multi-Sectorial Commission for HIV/AIDS, National SRH Committee and most recently a member of the national task group on abortion law revision. Bojan has extensive experience in abortion and HIV advocacy. He is also a national trainer for Minimal Package for Sexual and Reproductive Health in humanitarian settings and member of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Inter-Agency Group on SRH in Humanitarian Crisis. A passionate sexual rights activist and feminist.

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Medea Khmelidze

ASTRA Network

Medea Khmelidze, Advisory Board Member of ASTRA Network and Program Manager of Georgian Union of PLHIV "Real People Real Vision" has been active in the SRHR field already for 10 years. As a researcher she works at generating qualitative /quantitative data that determine and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health of people, as well as their ability to claim their sexual and reproductive rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. She has been actively contributing to improving and innovating SRHR policies and practices, with a special focus on empowering young people and HIV/AIDS key populations. Additionally she stands as SRHR Consultant for Women Fund Georgia. Regionally apart from ASTRA Network, Medea is member of Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, Eurasian Key Populations Health Network and global network for Everywomeneverywhere. Medea has been involved in advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights/HIV/AIDS in the context of international and regional conferences for more than 6 years


Hilde Kroes

Hilde started working on sexual and reproductive health and rights as a youth advocate, after which she joined Rutgers as advocacy officer. After a few years she transitioned to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she worked as senior advisor SRHR. In that capacity she led several negotiations at regional and UN level for SRHR, including in the ICPD Beyond 2014 review and in the establishment of the SDGs. Since the beginning of 2018, Hilde works independently to advance SRHR worldwide and she does consultancy work for UN agencies, government and NGOs. She was a member of the expert group to establish the ICPD monitoring framework for the UNECE region and contributed to the ICPD+25 UNECE Regional Report.

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Lena Luyckfasseel


Lena Luyckfasseel is Programme and Performance Director at the IPPF European Network (IPPF EN) Regional Office in Brussels, one of the six regional offices of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a global service provider and leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Lena leads the overall programmatic work in the European region and collaborates closely with the 41 IPPF Member Associations and partners in the region on the execution of their mandates in line with IPPF’s priorities.

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Tatiana Sorocan

HelpAge International in Moldova

Tatiana Sorocan, is a Country Director of the office of HelpAge International in Moldova that has been an Implementing Partner for  the ICPD agenda of the UNFPA Country Programme for Moldova 2013-2017. Our focus has been and is now on mainstreaming ageing into public policies and promoting active ageing. We also hold the Secretariat for the Platform on Active Ageing supported by the UNFPA and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection of Moldova. In 2017, we have been part of the consultations on development on the national Action Plan on Implementing Active Ageing of 2017-2021 and are supporting its implementation.

Tatiana holds an MA degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Presidential Academy of Public Administration of Moldova.

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Dereje Wordofa Gidda

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director (Programme)

Mr. Wordofa, a national of Ethiopia, has over 28 years of experience in providing strategic leadership, advocacy, programme development and operations management in SRHR, largely focused in Africa.

Before joining UNFPA, Mr. Wordofa served as the International Regional Director for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region for SOS Children’s Village International. Other earlier roles held by Mr. Wordofa include Country Representative for Oxfam in Uganda, Regional Director for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee; Deputy Programme Director at Save the Children, and others.  

Mr. Wordofa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Oxford Brookes University, a Master of Science degree in Social Policy in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.





Marianne Haslegrave

Director, Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat)

Marianne Haslegrave has been the Director of the Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat) since 1995. Her work has focused primarily on the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and the outcomes of the follow-up review conferences. Most recently she has concentrated particularly on issues related to health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She participates as an observer in meetings of the High-level Political Forum and the Interagency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators. Marianne has also served both as President of the British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) and the International Federation of University Women (IFUW). She has a MA in History, and lives in the United Kingdom.



Richard Huggard

Project Co-ordinator, Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat)

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