Extending Safe Abortion Advocacy with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Project

Since April 2019, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has worked with ten of its member associations – that is, national societies of obstetrics and gynaecology – to become key actors in safe abortion advocacy and national leaders in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women. The project envisioned reaching its objective through five pathways of change in each country. Based on these pathways, national societies developed their own country‐ and society‐specific action plans based on local contexts and priorities.

Objectives

This project has five primary objectives:

  1. Strengthen the management and organisational capacity of the obgyn societies.
  2. Establish or strengthen a coordinated network with likeminded stakeholders and health system partners to advocate for safe abortion and improved access to comprehensive abortion care.
  3. Create increased acceptance of safe abortion among health workers, policy makers and the general population.
  4. Ensure communication and sensitisation about the national legal frameworks and guidelines on safe abortion.
  5. Advocate for better generation and use of evidence on abortion in each of the ten countries.

Outcome harvesting

After supporting the needs assessment and design of the project, between 2019 and 2022 KIT was involved as a monitoring, evaluation and learning partner. For the monitoring component, KIT trained and guided obgyn societies on a method called ‘outcome harvesting’. Rather than measuring progress in the implementation of activities, this method focuses on collecting information about what has changed in terms of behaviour, relationships, actions and policies – positively or negatively, intended or unintended, direct or indirect – and how the project’s actions contributed to this change and to the desired outcomes. A strong focus on learning ensured regular reflection and sense-making on what advocacy strategies did or did not initiate change within political, economic, and social systems and institutions, what can we learn from that and what this means for programming.

In addition a baseline membership survey and mixed-method final evaluation were conducted, the latter including an endline survey, capacity strengthening survey, harvested outcomes and qualitative substantiation and stakeholder interviews.