As the developing world becomes increasingly affected by climate change and humanitarian crises, strengthening resilience is an essential priority to allow vulnerable groups to adapt and lead healthy, fulfilling lives, of which access to quality SRHR services is a key component.
The UK Aid Connect (UKAC) funded consortium, known as the ASPIRE programme (Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Through the Promotion of Innovation and Resilience) represents a pioneering partnership. The ASPIRE programme was developed to test and generate evidence on innovative, sustainable and scalable approaches to reaching some of the world’s most marginalised groups with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
The ASPIRE programme design was formulated to assess and enhance the intersectionality between SRH and resilience in both climate change-affected and fragile settings. Consortium partners designed innovative solutions to improve access to quality SRHR and build greater resilience behaviours among underserved groups, focusing on women and girl refugees in Uganda, and climate change impacted communities in Madagascar and Niger.
As MERL lead, we aimed to generate learning and evaluate how planned innovations can build individual and organisational capacity to change SRHR practices in climate change affected and fragile settings. By understanding how our innovations build resilient actions and behaviours, we endeavoured to deliver lasting change in the communities served, influence policy at a national level and present replicable models for building resilience in other post-shock contexts.
We undertook a process evaluation of the pilot to capture learning about implementing programmes that integrate SRH with climate change adaptation, focusing on context and implementation factors and the way these interact.
Outcomes and outputs
The process evaluation identified the following key findings for more effective programme implementation:
- Effective coordination between implementing partners based on commitment, strong processes and shared values.
- Effective coordination between implementers and communities to build buy-in and the co-creation of solutions.
- Working with young people can be an effective ‘way in’ for messaging in communities.
- Innovative thinking is facilitated by a high level of expertise and competence in the implementing team as well as a culture of motivation toward a shared goal.
- Generating short term outcomes by facilitating activities that can achieve quick wins for participants.
- Alignment with national and local priorities to ensure buy-in from local authorities.
- A preparedness to tackle challenges associated with basic needs around livelihoods, health, and social cohesion as well as regressive gender norms to ensure engagement with climate change action
- Continuity of funding is key to ensure effective implementation and to ensure outcomes are achieved.
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