Evaluating implementation of the WHO Strategic Approach to strengthening sexual and reproductive health policies and programs to address unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion
by Shusmita Rashid, JuliaEMoore, CaitlynTimmings, JoshuaPVogel, BelaGanatra, DinaNKhan, RadhaSayal, AMetin Gülmezoglu, SharonEStraus
Reproductive Health November 2017;14:153 (Open access)
Abstract (short version)
We evaluated how the World Health Organization’s planning, policy, and program implementation process, (called the Strategic Approach to strengthening sexual and reproductive health policies and programs or “the SA”), was used in 15 countries to address unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. SA implementation was influenced by individual-, community-, organizational-, and policy-level factors. Stakeholders perceived SA implementation to be country-driven and systematic in bringing attention to important sexual and reproductive health issues in their countries. Key success factors for implementing the SA include ensuring stakeholder engagement during all stages of SA activities, monitoring activities, and using outputs from each SA stage to gain support for subsequent stages. Findings from this study can guide efforts in countries that are currently using the SA or conducting similar activities to improve sexual and reproductive health services.
The Strategic Approach, World Health Organization publications above are at: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/strategic_approach/en/
Editor’s note: This is an important set of tools for assessing national abortion laws, policies, programmes and services as a cooperative process between government, WHO, abortion rights advocates and other non-governmental actors, health professionals and other stakeholders – and then planning and implementing improvements and scaling them up. This in-depth review article describes and assesses the process as it has been carried out in 15 countries and its importance in detail. Highly recommended.