Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy


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What's New

New journal article: Despite the steep increase in contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) in Bangladesh since 1975, nearly a third of pregnancies are still unintended. This literature review -- Contraceptive practices among married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh: a review of the evidence -- examined contraceptive use among married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh and found that method discontinuation and switching, method failure, and method mix may be offsetting achievements in the CPR. The article concludes that government and independent bodies must renew their commitment to implement and monitor family planning strategies as a means to ensuring adherence to and provision of the most appropriate contraceptive method for couples.

New journal article: This article, The Challenges Posed by Demographic Change in sub-Saharan Africa: A Concise Overview, presents a regional overview of some of the main challenges posed by the huge demographic change sub-Saharan Africa has undergone in the twenty-first century (and will experience going forward). According to the UN Population Division, 35 years from now the population of Africa will be around 22 percent of the global total. The way that associated challenges are faced may have high stakes both regionally and globally. This article examines challenges of pressure on health and education provision, food security and agriculture, urban living conditions, employment and livelihoods, and intra-regional migration.

New research report: In Bangladesh, early marriage and childbearing have led to an adolescent fertility rate that is among the highest in the world. This study, Expanding access to integrated family planning intervention packages for married adolescent girls in urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, implemented and evaluated the efficacy of three interventions on reducing unintended pregnancy and unmet need for FP among married adolescent girls in Dhaka slums: (1) formation of a married adolescent girls’ club, (2) strengthening brac community health volunteer (Shyastha Shebika) activities on family planning counselling, and 3) involving government marriage registrars (Kazis) in FP service promotion. The girls’ clubs were strongly well-received and were effective in enhancing knowledge and support throughout the community on issues of unintended pregnancy and FP. Both the girls’ groups as well as the activities of Shyastha Shebikas were seen to significantly increase contraceptive uptake, and were mutually reinforcing of one another’s activities.

New Evidence brief: In Senegal, abortion is illegal unless the life of the mother is endangered. For the past several years there has been increasing public discussion and advocacy surrounding the question of revising this law. Yet throughout this process, the voices of women who experience unintended pregnancy following rape or incest have not been heard. This Evidence Brief -- L’expérience de femmes ayant subi une grossesse non désirée au Sénégal: Une étude qualitative -- summarizes a study that documented the experiences of some of these women as a way of adding their voices to the discussion and to offer evidence in advocacy for revision of the law.

STEP UP extended for two years: We are pleased to announce that DFID has approved a two-year extension of the STEP UP RPC. During this period, our focal activities will include work on the measurement of unintended pregnancy, education sector responses to early and unintended pregnancy, and access to menstrual regulation and post-abortion contraceptive services. In addition, the RPC's efforts will reflect an increased emphasis on facilitating the uptake of the evidence generated by the program over the past six years.

Activity update on supporting girls’ re-entry into school after pregnancy in Kenya: Schools have a key role to play in both enabling adolescents to prevent unintended pregnancy as well as supporting their re-entry into school after giving birth. An interview with STEP UP researcher Chi-Chi Undie was recently published by Newsdeeply in which she discusses STEP UP research on adolescent pregnancy and school re-entry in Homa Bay and a related proposed bill currently being debated in parliament in Kenya, the Care and Protection of Child and Parents Bill. Chi also tackles the question of what needs to come first when seeking to improve girls’ learning achievement in areas where dropout rates are high in this blog post—Is girls’ enrolment the chicken or the egg?—on the UNESCO IIEP Learning Portal.