Photo Credit: Tom Saater/Marie Stopes International
Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme

Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme

Globally there are an estimated 214 million women who want to delay or prevent pregnancy but who are not able to access or use contraception. Unintended and early pregnancy is a key cause of high maternal death rates in Africa and many parts of Asia. Having access to contraception is critical for women continuing their education and being able to take up employment opportunities.

The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme (WISH), funded by UKAid, prioritises the poorest and most in need, particularly young and marginalised women, increasing the number of ways and places they can access the vital family planning services they need, and helping to avert tens of thousands of maternal deaths.

This will empower millions of women with control over their bodies and support the future prosperity of young people in some of the world’s poorest countries by allowing them to plan when to have children, to stay in education, and to get better jobs, so they can contribute to their country’s economic development.

The programme aims to expand sexual and reproductive health care services and support countries which have made FP2020 commitments to achieve them. It is working across 26 countries in Africa and Asia.

The programme focuses on:

  • Strengthening individuals’ knowledge and choice, and building community support for sexual reproductive health rights
  • Driving sustainability and national ownership of sexual reproductive health programmes through supportive legal, financial and policy frameworks
  • Improving access to and expanding choice of voluntary family planning and other sexual reproductive health services through evidence-based innovations and best practice

Under WISH, Options is focused on strengthening national stewardship over sexual, reproductive health and family planning. Central to our approach is supporting governments to prioritise sexual, reproductive health and family planning through domestic financing, and to develop and implement evidence-based policies and plans to meet commitments and address the unmet need of women and girls, particularly among the poor, youth under 20, and people living with disabilities.

We will do this by:

  • Working with governments to ensure that they deliver on their commitments to increase public sector investments in sexual, reproductive health and family planning through technical assistance and evidence based advocacy. Political Economy Analysis will be used in each country to inform context-specific strategies.
  • Supporting the development and implementation of policies that ensure access to high quality sexual, reproductive health and family planning services.  
  • Ensuring services meet a minimum standard of quality, tracking progress and acting on gaps.
  • Tracking commitments and outcomes using existing coalitions and building effective public-private partnerships to strengthen accountability mechanisms.

The following results will help achieve stronger national ownership for sexual reproductive health rights:

  • Improved public sector investment for sexual, reproductive health and family planning including greater efficiencies in budget flow and execution.
  • Fostering an evidence-based culture within national and sub-national governments, that uses data to drive legal, financial, policy and quality of care decisions and actions.
  • Strengthened legal, financial, policy and quality of care demonstrated through leadership by national and sub-national governments.
  • Functional and sustainable accountability systems that track sexual reproductive health commitments and key indicators, and use this evidence to hold leaders to account.

We are working with International Planned Parenthood Foundation, Marie Stopes International, International Rescue Committee, Development Media International, Humanitarian International, IPAS, DKT, Think Place and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme
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