Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy


Sharing results, advancing knowledge, highlighting innovation

STEP UP resources and products, arranged by key research theme:

Understanding the determinants and consequences of unintended pregnancy

Profiling unintended pregnancy to inform national policy and programming

Understanding and addressing unintended pregnancy among the urban, adolescent poor

Strengthening and integrating contraceptive services within national health systems

Increasing access to and use of medical abortion

Capacity building


What's New

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.

Activity update on task sharing for implant insertion in Nigeria: This study is investigating whether Community Health Extension Workers in Nigeria can insert contraceptive implants to the same standard as nurses and midwives. Data gathering has been completed and data cleaning is underway. Outcomes of this study are expected at the end of this spring, and will include the safety, quality, acceptability, and feasibility of this task-sharing activity. The study is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health of Nigeria and Marie Stopes International, and has also received funding from Danida, and SIFPO 2: Sustainable Networks, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development.

New book chapter: In existing literature about school re-entry processes in East Africa, school personnel often feature as obstacles to proper implementation of policies that would enable girls’ re-entry. This book chapter, "Are school principals 'the bad guys'?: Nuancing the narrative of school re-entry policy implementation in Kenya" (published in Changing Social Norms to Universalize Girls’ Education in East Africa), seeks to create a fuller perspective of the complexities of implementing school re-entry policy by presenting 'the other side of the story,' sharing the perspectives and experiences of school personnel themselves and identifying promising approaches for going forward.

New study protocol published: An estimated 222 million women in low- and middle-income countries have unmet need for modern contraception. Yet despite the prevalence of unmet need, there has been little rigorous research during the past fifteen years on reasons for this widespread failure to implement childbearing desires in contraceptive practice. Existing data from demographic surveys provide limited insight on the full set of possible obstacles to contraceptive use. To rectify this evidence gap, this study will gather extensive information on women’s perceptions of contraception (generic and method-specific) and their past contraceptive experience, and it will allow for more complexity in fertility preferences than is standard in demographic surveys.

New mini docu-drama on STEP UP intervention study on married adolescents: STEP UP partner icddr,b has released a short docu-drama, "Window of Hope," based on an integrated approach to preventing unintended pregnancy among married adolescent girls living in urban slums of Bangladesh. You can view the film here.