KIT conducted a ‘needs assessment’ for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). It covered a multi-country project designed to increase the capacity of national obstetrics and gynaecology societies to lead their nations in safe abortion advocacy work. The formative research focused on the views about abortion advocacy in ten nations, taking into account both their national and regional contexts.
The primary role of health care providers and health care institutions is to offer health care services. At the same time they are also in a unique position to become women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates – including for safe abortion. In their role as health care providers they can influence peers, the media and policy makers, especially from their health expertise and technical knowledge on health issues. It is FIGO’s ambition to support gynaecologists and obstetricians from around the world to develop their capacity as advocates.
At the end of the assessment FIGO would have:
- Insights on the abortion situation in each country
- An understanding of the capacity and needs of each national obstetrics and gynaecology association in relation to safe abortion advocacy
- Plans of action for each national obstetrics and gynaecology association developed through a collaborative process
- Recommendations on their role to strengthen the capacity of the ten national associations as abortions advocates, translated into a comprehensive proposal
For this needs assessment KIT conducted research in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, Uganda and Zambia:
- An online survey for members of national societies of obstetrics and gynaecology regarding their membership and positions on safe abortion
- A review of the currently existing evidence on abortion in the country, and organisational structure and policies of the national society
- Key interviews with staff members of the National Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, policy makers and other stakeholders
- Stakeholder workshops on views and values, the concept of advocacy, and exploring organisational strengths and challenges regarding safe abortion advocacy
These activities led to the development of country plans of action and a project proposal for a three-year project on safe abortion advocacy.
A needs assessment framework has been developed which consists of the following areas:
1) Abortion situation in each country:
- Existing evidence
- Legal and political context
- Abortion stigma
- Service delivery environment
2) Situation in the National Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in each country:
- Professional attitudes towards abortion and needed skills
- Organisation strengths
- Advocacy efforts and opportunities