Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Rise Up

PHI's Rise Up program benefits 115 million girls, youth, and women globally and with a reach across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. By investing in visionary leaders, local organizations, and innovative solutions, Rise Up is achieving large-scale change through advocacy, leadership development, organizational strengthening, grantmaking, and storytelling.

Rise Up unifies PHI's Let Girls Lead, Champions for Change and the Youth Champions Initiative.

Program Director(s)

Denise Dunning

Program Site

Rise Up


Planning for Gates Malawi Child Marriage Program

Public Health Institute will participate in key team meetings with GENET and ICRW in Malawi and submit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a first draft of the revised proposal for the Empowering Girls to End Child Marriage in Southern Malawi: A Solution and Evaluation to Stop Child Marriage Now project.

Rise Up: Empowering Girls in Central America

Improve marginalized adolescent girls' health, education, and equity through strategic advocacy for girl-friendly laws, policies, funding, and programs and empower girls in Central America to strengthen their leadership and advocacy through girl-led advocacy initiatives.

Rise Up: Improving Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Rise Up will continue its work to improve adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Central America.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Investing in Young Leaders to Champion the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Movement

The Youth Champions Initiative, part of PHI's RiseUp, invests in powerful young leaders in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and the United States who are leading the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) movement.

In Pakistan, one 2016 seed grantee, Ali Raza Rizvi, is using short films and street theatre in the remote areas of Karachi and Interior Sindh to prompt new community discussions about the importance of SRHR.

Raza Rizvi’s Ehsas Films is also creating new live and online platforms to discuss SRHR after each screening, performance, and posting.

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation demonstrates that the Youth Champions have significantly strengthened their leadership, and that their innovative projects are already improving SRHR in their communities

Passing Landmark Legislation in Nigeria to Improve the Health of Women and Children

Thanks in part to PHI’s Champions for Change, under-served families in Nigeria now have access to free, comprehensive healthcare services, helping to reduce the high rates of maternal and infant mortality. The program's country representative played an instrumental role in advocating for the law’s passage, leading targeted efforts towards religious stakeholders and developing messages for collective advocacy efforts. All proved successful in December 2015 when the President signed the National Health Bill into law, helping to keep millions of Nigerian women and children healthier.

Learn more about Champions for Change's work with their infographic exploring key faces about women, children and adolescent health in Nigeria.

Preventing Violence Across The Globe With Policy Change

Photo credit: Tim Wagner / HEACPHI's Let Girls Lead has championed the passage of the national Children’s Law in Liberia, supported the ratification of a national treatment protocol for sexual violence survivors in Guatemala, and created a national advocacy network that helped to pass legislation outlawing child marriage in Malawi and Guatemala.



Protecting the Rights of Girls and Youth

Photo credit: Let Girls LeadPHI’s Let Girls Lead provides technical assistance and training in policy advocacy, as well as seed funding, to African and Latin American champions for girls’ rights and health.

Let Girls Lead alumni have  become  powerful policy advocates and contributed to important victories, including passage of the national Children’s Law in Liberia, ratification of a national treatment protocol for sexual violence survivors in Guatemala and creation of a national advocacy network to eliminate child marriage in Malawi and Guatemala. It’s estimated that the work of Let Girls Lead has touched 7 million girls around the globe.  


Rise Up Founder and Executive Director Named Top Family Planning Leader

In 2016, PHI's Denise Dunning was named in the 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

Dr. Dunning is the founder and executive director of PHI’s Rise Up program, which benefits 115 million girls, youth, and women globally, and reaches across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. This award recognizes Dunning’s exemplary leadership to advance family planning and reproductive health. Learn more about the award.