The inaugural Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL) awards were announced at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November 2013. They recognise major breakthroughs in the areas of family planning demand generation, service provision, research and advocacy. They celebrate progress that is being made by governments, organisations and individuals to increase access to voluntary family planning information and services in line with the rights-based principles of FP2020. The selection committee, convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, judged nominations on the basis of their proven impact and potential reach. Blue Ventures was one of just two organisations to receive an EXCELL award at this global event, with the selection committee praising its holistic Population-Health-Environment (PHE) approach.