Principle Consultant, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
With funding from Grand Challenges Canada, Options hosts the “OPTions Learning Platform” (OLP) for the Options for Pregnancy Termination Innovation (OPTions) Initiative. The goal of the OLP is to accelerate the impact of around 40 OPTions Initiative innovator organisations from across the globe, by providing technical support along the innovation journey from achieving proof of concept through to transition to sustainable impact at scale.
The OLP work is shaped around the specific needs of the innovators under the OPTions Initiative which promotes “Bold Ideas with Big Impact” through innovative and transformative approaches that put women, girls and people with diverse sexual and gender identities in control of their reproductive health choices. This includes where, when and how they end their pregnancy safely in countries where there are one or more legal grounds to support it, if they choose to do so.
The focus of the OPTIons Initiative is to support the testing and development of new approaches to increase early access to existing safe abortion products and services in low- and middle-income countries and the development of next-generation methods for safe abortion. OPTions innovator organisations are pioneering new strategies in telemedicine, digital health literacy and self-care, testing new service delivery models through the public and private sector, and exploring new devices for quality of care and medication.
Under this initiative, the Options OLP team provides technical assistance to OPTions innovator organisations – including national CSOs, international organisations, academic institutions and social entrepreneurs – to develop effective, quality and scalable transformative solutions to support reproductive choices.
We leverage innovators’ own technical expertise and lessons, foster an innovator community and extend professional networks to create a unique space for technical acceleration at the intersection of safe abortion and innovation.
Between December 2020 and January 2022, OLP supported innovators to strengthen their innovation design through mentorship in technical areas including monitoring and evaluation, safeguarding, quality of care, and scaling strategies through small workshops, webinars, solution dialogues and mentorship. By the end of January 2022, the platform had built the technical capacity of innovators, stimulated a pipeline of innovations and enhanced opportunities for engagement with funders.
From April 2023 to October 2024, OLP’s focus is on supporting innovators to accelerate their impact by:
- Providing tailored technical assistance to innovators in improving the quality of and access to their innovations.
- Supporting Next Generation Methods innovators to strengthen their pre-clinical and clinical proof-of-concept and their approaches to navigating regulatory pathways.
- Assisting innovators to shape their scaling journey. We do this by providing venture advisory and business development mentoring to Transition to Scale innovators to deepen their understanding of the market and positioning for various forms of growth financing.
- Facilitating sharing of best practices within a collaborative innovator community and network, building connections with peers, crafting smart partnerships and nurturing complimentary initiatives.