Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy


Establishing networks, cultivating partnerships

Partnerships and networking are integral to achieving STEP UP’s desired outcomes of reaching broader audiences with evidence and for facilitating institutionalization and scaling up of interventions. STEP UP undertakes several collaborative and networking activities with key partners, and continually forms new partnerships with organizations and networks:

    • STEP UP staff participates as resource persons in several expert group meetings with WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) and participate in WHO/RHR’s Research Project Review Panel.
    • STEP UP actively participates in FIGO’s “Prevention of Unsafe Abortion” initiative through technical assistance to support the design and implementation of country action plans in Kenya and Ghana.
    • LSHTM, PC and the Guttmacher Institute implement the DFID-funded 'EVA-PMDUP' consortium to evaluate the DFID-supported "Prevention of Maternal Deaths from Unwanted Pregnancy" (PMDUP) programme in India, Malawi, Pakistan and Zambia.
    • STEP UP has a close relationship with the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, with staff actively participating in its Market Development Approaches Working Group and Advocacy & Accountability Working Group, as well as the Caucus on New and Underused RH technologies and the newly-formed Forum SECONAF (La Sécurité Contraceptive en Afrique Francophone).


Sharing the evidence

In order to make partnership development and the networking process more meaningful and fruitful, STEP UP also has a strong focus on the communication of research evidence. This communication process is designed to ensure that research products are freely accessible through public domain channels, that key decision-makers and other stakeholders are reached through active engagement processes, and that STEP UP evidence is cited in published papers and reports so that it productively informs and progresses the fields of research with which it engages. STEP UP seeks to ensure that its reports, articles, presentations, and data sets are widely available to researchers, policymakers, and programme staff worldwide.


What's New

Activity update: In early October, the STEP UP team investigating reasons for unmet need for family planning (with particular attention to measurement of unintended pregnancy) began its second round of data collection, followed by a one-week training session. A total of 7,700 women in three study sites in Bangladesh (Matlab) and Kenya (Nairobi and Homa Bay) will be followed up with. Study participants will be asked about pregnancies, births, and month-to-month use of contraception between the two rounds, in addition to women’s views and experiences of use of pills, injectables, implants and condoms.

New journal article: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are highly effective at reducing unintended pregnancy. Mobile phones offer a low-cost mechanism for providing individualised support to women with contraception outside of the clinic setting, which may be especially valuable in a setting like Bangladesh where uptake of LARCs are low. This study, Using automated voice messages linked to telephone counselling to increase postmenstrual regulation contraceptive uptake and continuation in Bangladesh: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial, will provide information on the effects of such an intervention among MR clients in Bangladesh.

Recent event: To coincide with the 2017 Family Planning Summit, STEP UP hosted a research symposium in collaboration with the Maternal Healthcare Markets Evaluation Team. The symposium — Bridging the gap to FP2020: Evidence to accelerate progress toward meeting the need for family planning — brought together nearly 200 academics, implementers, donors, governments, and civil society members to share the latest evidence on unmet need for family planning, review evidence-informed programming for addressing unmet need, and discuss a research agenda aligned to the global architecture for family planning. To view the meeting programme, please click here.

Evidence briefs developed for 2017 London Family Planning Summit: Based on evidence from STEP UP and developed in partnership with DFID and WHO, seven evidence briefs were prepared for the Family Planning Summit held in London this summer. The briefs highlight evidence and provide research and programme considerations for improving access to family planning, and cover the following global themes: