Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy

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

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.

Activity update: The STEP UP team investigating reasons for unmet need for family planning (with particular attention to measurement of unintended pregnancy) recently convened at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for an analysis workshop at the end of July. During this workshop the team discussed descriptive results and lessons learned from the baseline survey, finalized the questionnaire and protocol for the follow-up round of surveys including quality control, completed descriptive analyses, conducted further contraceptive method-specific analyses, and planned next steps for 2017–2018.

New research report: Despite the significant progress that the government of Bangladesh has made towards introducing menstrual regulation with medication (MRM) into its national MR programme in recent years, there has been no systematic documentation on the process by which this has occurred, or on the approval process of local manufacturing of the mifepristone-misoprostol combination drug for MR. This research study, Introduction and Approval of Menstrual Regulation with Medication in Bangladesh: A Stakeholder Analysis, was an initiative to document the entire process of introducing MRM in the country through a stakeholder analysis. A situation analysis and mystery client visits were also conducted to generate evidence on how approval of MRM has influenced the availability and provision of MR services through private pharmacies and medicine sellers in Bangladesh.

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.