A History of CHANGE

A Timeline of CHANGE

1994: CHANGE was founded as the Health and Development Policy Project.

Our founding came in response to the landmark International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, 25 years ago. The United States joined more than 170 countries in a commitment to tackle global poverty, economic development, and population growth by putting human rights and the empowerment of women and girls at the center of development policies.

CHANGE was founded to support the international women’s movement by protecting the health and rights of people who receive services and assistance through U.S.-funded programs. We set out to hold the U.S. government accountable to its commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as implemented through U.S. foreign policy and programming.

2001: CHANGE became an independent nongovernmental organization (NGO) and adopted the name Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE).

The name changed, but the focus remained. In the past decade, CHANGE has begun to build and mobilize a significant base of U.S. supporters, developing partnerships with diverse U.S. constituencies such as students, reproductive justice advocates, faith-based organizations, HIV/AIDS groups, and women’s organizations. 

2019: Today, we are CHANGE.

Twenty-five years after our founding, CHANGE continues to work tirelessly to support and protect SRHR for all, guided by our strategic impact model.

Since its founding in 1994, CHANGE has partnered with allies to:
  • Advocate for increased funding for SRHR programs overseas, successfully safeguarding funding for contraceptives and securing more than $385 million for programs to prevent HIV among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Secure official recognition and adoption of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” by the U.S. government
  • Expose the detrimental effects of funding restrictions and policies that are not based in evidence through face-to-face meetings between policymakers and women from Africa, Latin America, and Asia
  • Train and mobilize grassroots leaders — including women living with HIV and sex workers — to be a voice for change in national and global policies for SRHR

CHANGE is where policy is made.

We are located in Washington, D.C. — not unusual for an NGO that wants to have the ear of and affect U.S. policymakers and executors. Our location gives many of the people we serve around the world access to these same lawmakers. Through our signature advocacy tool, known as Reverse Co-dels, advocates, experts, and service providers from the Global South come to D.C. to educate Congress with evidence about the importance of SRHR to achieve gender equality and other development goals. They also expose how some U.S. policies adversely affects women and girls and others who face stigma and discrimination in their home countries.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values that are required to make effective change in the world.
As an organization located in the Global North, CHANGE is aware of our disproportionate power and privilege in the global context. In our advocacy and partnerships we strive to shed the legacy of oppression and racism in the United States and its actions around the world. Diversity, equity, and inclusion — and specifically racial equity — is something we aspire to and we welcome the conversation.

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