Over the past decade, programmes working in climate affected and fragile settings have increasingly adopted the concept of ‘resilience’ as a means of designing interventions to enhance the ability of people, communities and systems to deal with shocks and stressors. This concept is common in food security, livelihoods and disaster risk management interventions, but has also been used to a lesser extent in health programming and in conflict affected areas.
In this paper, we set out how UKAC ASPIRE can use resilience thinking in support of its sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) intervention programmes. After describing the more established approaches to resilience thinking, we discuss what is currently known about the proposed links between SRHR and resilience. SRHR interventions may enhance the ability of women and girls to deal with a broad range of shocks and stressors; however SRHR social norms, services and programmes are themselves subject to disruption by shocks and stressors.
Additionally, in this paper we aim to support the remaining steps of UKAC ASPIRE programme design and to provide components of a conceptual framework for testing and assessing the potential links under UKAC ASPIRE’s evaluation function.
However due to impacts of COVID-19 on the UK economy and resulting reduction in the UK Government’s official development assistance, the programme will close early. Final activities were implemented in the programme’s close-out phase. Therefore, this paper is written assuming the programme would be implemented in the original timeframe, allowing the framework to be revised and refined and consequently used by those implementing similar programmes. By the time UKAC ASPIRE finishes, we aim to have tested some elements of the conceptual framework based on pilot work in Madagascar and be able to suggest ways for other interventions to adopt the lessons learned. The framework could be used by other programmes working alongside and in conjunction with wider resilience-building efforts to test approaches to SRHR decision-making.