FAQ for Potential Global Network Partners

OBOS is frequently approached by individuals and organizations interested in developing publications and resources based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” It is the policy of OBOS’s Global Initiative that women’s organizations take the lead on project coordination so OBOS can:

  • Transfer publication rights to a legally established non-profit entity.
  • Ensure reliable infrastructure for project implementation, management and coordination.
  • Expand the diversity of voices represented in the content.
  • Guarantee editorial control and transparency, and a central location to resolve content decisions.
  • Guild organizational capacity and leadership an important OBOGI objective.
  • Capitalize on existing local, regional and global networks, and build others for maximum impact.
  • Plan and effectively implement distribution and outreach.
  • Transfer funds, when possible, through our sub-granting initiative.

The organizations that qualify promote and work within a framework of human rights and reproductive justice; employ women in key staff and leadership positions; identify “Our Bodies, Ourselves” as a resource for their community; and have the experience and organizational capacity to coordinate its adaptation and transformation into a culturally meaningful tool for action.

All potential coordinating groups must complete a multi-step application. Permission to use “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” and to receive the support that comes with it, will be granted only upon approval.

If you’re organization is ready to move forward, please review the questions and process outlined below.

What are the responsibilities of a coordinating group?

The responsibilities of each Global Network partner carry through the project from beginning to end. Here is a brief list of what may be required:

  • Complete the application process and sign agreements/contracts.
  • Fundraise and strategize publishing, promotion, distribution and outreach.
  • Select, coordinate and work with a team on content development, narratives and graphics.
  • Peer review content, make editorial decisions, and identify a publisher or elect to self-publish.
  • Provide periodic reports to Our Bodies Ourselves Global Initiative (OBOGI).
  • Publicize, distribute and strategize on ways to bring the adapted materials to the community.
  • Complete the annual feedback process, and if possible, undertake outreach and evaluation.

All Global Network partners work closely with OBOGI staff, receiving extensive technical assistance and access to expertise and resources on project coordination, implementation and outreach.

What does the the application process involve?

The first step is to contact OBOGI staff members:

Please provide a brief outline of your plans and why your organization might be equipped to take on project coordination. Be brief, as we will follow up with appropriate next steps, including an application.

The application process is specific to the amount of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” content an organization plans to use: up to 20 pages, up to 100 pages, or the whole book.

This process helps us get to know potential Global Network partners and understand their goals, capabilities and plans. It is also designed to encourage groups to think through preliminary details and make certain decisions that will ultimately give their project and health materials a sound base.

What questions do we need to consider as we get started?

As you begin considering developing a publication or resource based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for your community, please prioritize a discussion on the intended audience and the preferred format and scope of your materials.

While any decisions made at this juncture can be reviewed down the road, comprehensive preliminary discussions are critical to planning, fundraising and networking. It will also help OBOGI staff determine how best to assist you through the application process and the projects early stages. Points to consider include:

Audience: The group(s) whose needs will be addressed and who you intend to reach with your resource.

Format: The physical form in which health materials will be made available. Examples include books, e-books, booklets, posters, as well as content for radio, websites, community campaigns and workshops.

Scope: Translates loosely to the amount of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” content used and can include up to 20 pages, up to 100 pages, or the whole book. Each length has its own application process and legal obligations.

The format and scope depend largely on local needs and available resources. While each Global Network partner has the best understanding of how much content is useful locally and in what format, OBOGI staff members provide vital guidance on setting goals that are realistic and meaningful to the community.

Global Network partners also have access to helpful decision making tools and contact with other Network members to learn from their experiences.

Is it possible to translate/adapt excerpts or specific topics in “Our Bodies, Ourselves”?

Absolutely. Using excerpts from “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” rather than the whole book, is especially viable for organizations that have limited resources and/or are considering alternatives to long print formats. It allows groups to focus on the most important issues and get information out quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, it does not demand the organizational capacity needed to adapt and move content from the entire book into the community. OBOS encourages its Global Network partners to begin thinking about scope and format early, so they can develop a suitable and successful implementation and outreach plan.

What kind of support can we expect from the Our Bodies Ourselves Global Initiative?

OBOS leverages four decades of experience in womens health publishing and advocacy to provide its Global Network partners with ongoing technical assistance as they develop materials based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” strategize distribution and outreach, and (when possible) organize for social and political change.

While support often depends on the needs of particular projects, it generally includes:

  • Guidance on planning, start-up and governance.
  • Input on content development, peer review, production, publishing, outreach and evaluation.
  • Customized tools, including guidelines that synthesize the expertise of OBOS’s Global Network partners to provide methodical guidance in planning, production, publishing and outreach; and outcome measurement and website development/management kits.
  • Individual contacts and networks in all fields of womens health, human rights and publishing.
  • Content resources, including free print copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves chapters in electronic format, and expanded website content.
  • Membership and collaborative opportunities in the Our Bodies Ourselves Global Network.
  • Assistance with fundraising and grants management.

What if publication rights are no longer available in a specific language?

Transformations of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” are already available in many languages. In the event publication rights are not available in a requested language(s), OBOGI staff can facilitate an introduction to the Global Network partner developing health materials in that language(s).

Even though you will not drive and coordinate the project, this will give you an opportunity to become involved in some capacity. Alternatively, if and when publication rights in your requested language(s) become available, you will be contacted to assess your interest in a possible partnership with OBOS.

How can individuals help with a particular adaptation project?

While OBOS values the interest and enthusiasm of individuals, for the reasons mentioned above and based on experience individuals are not encouraged to take on project coordination.

Individuals can get involved by contributing to ongoing projects, either financially (donations are much appreciated!) or otherwise. Though the nature of this involvement will be determined by the particular needs of Global Network partners, it can include translating content, writing/adapting/reading chapters, contributing narratives and graphics, editing or peer reviewing content, networking, or assisting with distribution and publicity.

In the past, some individuals have also partnered with women’s organizations willing to fulfill legal obligations on their behalf. Others have established their own organizations. The latter two options are not always practical and require, among other things, legal organizational status and considerable resources. We invite individuals to contact us (see above) if they would like to explore these or other ideas.