Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy

STRENGTHENING EVIDENCE FOR PROGRAMMING ON UNINTENDED PREGNANCY

Collaborating to generate policy-relevant research
that reduces unintended pregnancy

STEP UP (Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy) is a six-year research program that accelerates progress toward achieving MDGs 4 and 5 through strengthening evidence-based programming for reducing unmet need for family planning and safe abortion services. The STEP UP Research Program Consortium (RPC) generates policy-relevant research that promotes the use of an evidence-based approach for improving access to family planning and safe abortion services, reducing unintended pregnancy in target countries in Africa and South Asia.

The roles of the consortium's six partners include the following:

Population Council, primary partner
Nairobi, Kenya

    • Manage RPC and subcontracts
    • Liaise with DFID
    • Implement research, utilization of findings, and communication
    • Coordinate communication of RPC findings to the global development community

African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Nairobi, Kenya

    • Ensure activities in sub-Saharan Africa address regional and national priorities
    • Ensure efficiency of national research and research-utilization capacities
    • Tailor communication and knowledge utilization to the needs of local stakeholders

International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)
Dhaka, Bangladesh

    • Ensure activities in South Asia address regional and national priorities
    • Ensure efficiency of national research and research-utilization capacities
    • Tailor communication and knowledge utilization to the needs of local stakeholders

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
London, United Kingdom

    • Ensure research builds upon existing knowledge base
    • Ensure research addresses information needs around unmet need for family planning and safe abortion
    • Ensure all research is of the highest technical quality
    • Coordinate communication of RPC findings

Marie Stopes International (MSI)
London, United Kingdom

    • Ensure quality and appropriateness of all family planning and abortion service delivery and health financing models
    • Ensure strong management information system to support rigorous monitoring and evaluation
    • Develop and implement interventions or provide technical assistance through MSI's service-delivery networks

Partners in Population and Development (PPD)
Dhaka, Bangladesh

    • Engage with key policymakers to identify demand-driven research agenda that has stakeholder commitment
    • Build capacity of policymakers to use research results
    • Communicate research findings through linking policymakers in Africa and Asia

Collaborating to generate policy-relevant research
that reduces unintended pregnancy

Population Council

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.

The Population Council is the coordinating partner of the RPC.

Address: One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 9th floor, New York, NY, 10017
Phone: +1 212 339 0500; +1 877 339 0500
Fax: +1 212 755 6052
Website: http://www.popcouncil.org

African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The APHRC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization established in 1995 and located in Nairobi, Kenya. It seeks to promote the well-being of Africans by conducting policy-relevant research on population and health issues facing sub-Saharan Africa.

Address: APHRC Campus, 2nd floor, Kirawa Road, off Peponi Road, P.O. Box 10787-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: +254 20 400 1000; +254 20 266 2244; +254 20 266 2255
Mobile: +254 722 205 933; +254 722 205 933; +254 720 098 388; +254 733 410 102
Email: info(a)aphrc.org
Website: http://www.aphrc.org

International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B)

The ICDDR,B is an international health research organization located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The ICDDR,B works to translate research into treatment, training, policy advocacy, extension activities, and program-based activities.

Address: GPO Box 128, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Phone: +88 02 8860523-32
Fax: +88 02 8819133; +88 02 8823116
Email: info(a)icddrb.org
Website: http://www.icddrb.org

The London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSHTM)

The LSHTM is a institution for research and postgraduate education in public and global health, and is engaged in collaborative research activities around the world. The LSHTM focuses primarily on research in Africa, and houses multidisciplinary experts specializing in fields such as epidemiology, statistics, social science, molecular biology, and immunology.

Address: Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK
Phone: +44 0 20 7636 8636
Fax: +44 0 20 7436 5389
Website: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

Marie Stopes International (MSI)

MSI is an international family planning organization with sexual health centers located in 40 countries across the world. Headquartered in London, MSI provides men and women with health services such as family planning, safe abortion & post-abortion care, maternal & child healthcare, diagnosis & treatment of STIs, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Address: 1 Conway Street , Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6LP, UK
Phone: +44 0 (20) 7636 6200
Fax: + 44 0 (20) 7034 2369 
Email: info(a)mariestopes.org
Website: http://www.mariestopes.org

Partners in Population and Development (PPD)

PPD is an intergovernmental initiative launched in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development. It comprises country members from across the world, and was created for the purpose of expanding and improving South-South collaboration in the fields of reproductive health, population, and development. 

Location: IPH Building (2nd Floor), Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
Mailing address: PO Box 6020, Gulshan 1, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Phone: +88 02 9881882; +88 02 9881883; +88 02 8829475
Fax: +88 02 8829387; +88 02 9880264
Email: partners(a)ppdsec.org
Website: http://www.partners-popdev.org

 

What's New

    New Research Uptake Case Study: STEP UP is proud to release a new Research Uptake Case Study: Bangladesh: Using strong evidence and strategic collaboration to increase access to menstrual regulation with medication. The case study highlights successful research uptake resulting from STEP UP’s collaboration on increasing women’s access to MRM in Bangladesh, including approval of MRM service introduction into the national family planning program and plans for STEP UP assistance in the scale up of MRM to nearly 4,000 health facilities.

    Journal Article: Estimates of the potential impacts of contraceptive use on averting unintended pregnancies, total and unsafe abortions, maternal deaths, and newborn, infant, and child deaths are critically important for policy makers, donors, and advocates investing in family planning programmes. There are five mathematical models that estimate the impact of family planning on health outcomes, but each modeling approach was designed for different purposes, and consequently do not produce comparable estimates for the same outcome indicators. This article, Harmonizing Methods for Estimating the Impact of Contraceptive Use on Unintended Pregnancy, Abortion, and Maternal Health explores a collective harmonization process undertaken to address this. The models now produce more similar estimates (although they retain some minimal differences) and may assist in planning, resource allocation, and evaluation, and offer a more unified voice for quantifying the benefits of family planning.

    Dissemination event in Nigeria: STEP UP findings from a study evaluating whether community health extension workers (CHEWs) can insert contraceptive implants to the same quality standards as nurses and midwives were shared at a dissemination meeting in Abuja last month. Over 100 participants attended, including high-level state and federal representatives, CHEWs & nurses, donors, and implementing partners. The plenary session was chaired by Dr. Kayode Afolabi (Director of reproductive health, FMOH) with support from Dr. Tony Udoh (FMOH).

    The session yielded insight into key aspects of implant service provision, upon which the FMOH proposed that it review and extend the accreditation period to enhance service quality. The event also prompted commitments to be made by State officials to better support trained staff retention in training facilities, and by MSI Nigeria to provide technical support to States on scaling up this task shifting. See links for Nigerian media coverage of the event in the Daily Post, Premium Times, and Vanguard.

    Journal article: In 2015, the Government of Bangladesh approved the use of the mifepristone-misoptostol drug combination to be administered up to 9 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period by trained service providers for menstrual regulation with medication (MRM). This journal article, Provision of menstrual regulation with medication among pharmacies in three municipal districts of Bangladesh: A situation analysis, explores a STEP UP study which assessed the provision of MRM in randomly selected urban pharmacies in Bangladesh. The study revealed knowledge gaps among pharmacy workers regarding recommended dosage for MRM and inconsistent practice in informing women on effectiveness, follow-up visits, possible complications and provision of post-MRM contraceptives. Pharmacy workers need additional training and a strong monitoring and regulatory system for pharmacy provision of MRM in pharmacies should be established.

    Activity update: The STEP UP team investigating reasons for unmet need for family planning (with particular attention to measurement of unintended pregnancy) in Matlab, Bangladesh has completed the second round of data collection. Over 2,300 women were interviewed. Follow-ups are also being completed with women in Nairobi and Homa Bay, Kenya.

    STEP UP at the Brookings Institute: STEP UP researcher Chi-Chi Undie was invited to the Brookings Institution in Washington DC to participate in a panel at the Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium hosted by the Institute’s Center for Universal Education (CUE). CUE convenes policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders in the girls’ education arena to discuss the most pressing issues as identified by the Echidna Global Scholars, a group of global leaders in girls’ education. Please click here to view video recording of the session in which Chi-Chi discusses STEP UP’s work with the Ministry of Education on school re-entry for girls in Kenya.