Informing design of a reproductive and maternal health programme

Options conducted PEER research among ethnic groups in southern Laos, to generate the evidence base for the design of a demand creation programme for reproductive and maternal health services, and also work to increase use of family planning (including condoms), attendance of skilled personnel at deliveries, and to reduce early marriage and unwanted pregnancy.

We worked to identify and understand in detail priority areas for behaviour change and communications among women in remote rural communities. In particular, the research team aimed to gain a better understanding of the social context of health-related behaviour, including livelihoods, marriage, gender norms, and information channels. Women from these hard to reach, non-literate groups, produced a wealth of information about social life, perceptions of services, and barriers to accessing services. Findings were used to design appropriate messages, interventions and community-based activities to address high levels of maternal mortality. Findings were also used to inform UNFPA’s supply side activities in the area.

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