The pandemic remained an ever-present backdrop to our work in 2021, as online tools brought new opportunities for learning, innovation and expanding our reach, but with valuable face-to-face activities still limited and shifting restrictions forcing us to make constant adjustments. Like our resilient Member Associations (MAs) and partners, we adapted and continued to deliver on our programmes and commitments. By the end of the year, a “new normal” of hybrid working and increased stability began to come into view.
Another constant was interference by opposition forces, persistently seeking to reverse progress and undermine rights, freedoms and the rule of law. ENRO continued to push back, through our external engagement and through our support to social movements, MAs and partners building on our experience with winning narratives and blending expertise and skills from across our team to help strengthen, connect and amplify the voice of national activists and boost regional solidarity and political support for their causes.
It was an exciting year in terms of securing restricted funding to support our work on our regional priorities. We kicked off in January with a brand new project funded by MSD for Mothers, building on young people’s experiences of the pandemic to ensure youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care in the Balkans. And in November we won a 4-year framework partnership agreement with the European Commission for core support to ENRO’s championing of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality. Also in November, the Gates Foundation invited the ENRO-led Countdown 2030 Europe Consortium to submit a new and expanded 4-year proposal to continue holding European decision-makers accountable for their international development commitments.
At the global level, as IPPF continued to change and adapt to meet the challenges of our age, ENRO made many active contributions to consolidating a united secretariat, collaborating with colleagues from around the globe in a wide range of areas, both functional and cross-cutting, and helping the sharing of technical knowledge, learning and best practices. We also invested in the development of the new global strategy 2023-28, convening our MAs and young people to input their expertise, facilitating roundtables and providing our own insights at each step.