Share-Net International: The Knowledge Platform for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
The Platform’s focus is on strengthening the role knowledge can play in developing evidence-based policies and practices for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). It also ensures that resources are used strategically, including in relation to the four core areas of Dutch policy on SRHR:
- Better information and greater freedom of choice for young people about their sexuality
- Improved access to reproductive health commodities
- Better sexual and reproductive health care (during pregnancy and childbirth, including safe abortion)
- Greater respect for the sexual and reproductive rights of groups who are currently denied these rights
Since its inception, Share-Net International has been implementing activities as a knowledge broker in the field of SRHR and HIV. Below the most important achievements are summarised.
1) Knowledge Generation
Research has been commissioned through several mechanisms. Small grants are solicited by the members for 25,000 Euro each, larger research grants are commissioned by NWO-WOTRO and other research is done through the working groups.
In total 26 small grants have been implemented since the first call in 2014. During a dissemination event early 2017, 18 projects presented and discussed their findings. One call is published each year, and for each call 2 awards are available per country node.
NWO-WOTRO Research Grants
Three needs assessments have been carried out, including agenda setting exercises and mappings of stakeholders (Bangladesh, Burundi and Jordan). These informed the research calls published by NWO-WOTRO.
So far, three research grants have been awarded in Burundi and five for Bangladesh. In Jordan, pre-proposals have been submitted and full proposals are underway. Joint kick-off workshops are held for all country research projects in collaboration with NWO-WOTRO and the local country node of Share-Net.
Share-Net Netherlands, through its working groups conducted the following research:
- Literature Review HIV and SRHR integration;
- A background paper on Linking Research Policy and Practice;
- A study on Private sector engagement in improving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in developing countries;
- Survey Sexual Diversity;
- Survey SDGs;
- Background paper CSE and YFHS linkages.
All studies were presented and discussed amongst members during thematic meetings. Share-Net Burundi commissioned two systematic reviews on:
- SRHR in Burundi;
- Performance Based Funding (PBF) and
- A literature review on the SRH of young people in Burundi.
Share-Net Jordan conducted a study on Child Marriage.
2) Knowledge Dissemination
Each year, Share-Net Netherlands distributes 20 bi-weekly newsletters to its subscribers (from 700 subscribers in 2014 to 916 in 2016). Three international newsletters were developed and disseminated under the lead of Share-Net Bangladesh together with Jordan, Burundi and the Netherlands. Each country node also produces their own newsletters.
Share-Net Netherlands has 11 working groups Burundi has established 6 working groups on youth-focused efforts, access to SRHR services, opportunities and barriers facing knowledge sharing, community contribution to SRH of adolescents, PBF, research and monitoring & evaluation (M&E). Share-Net Bangladesh does not work with fixed working groups as they have a more flexible system working with resource groups that are established based on the identified priority theme.
The website for Share-Net International, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Burundi are designed, operational and maintained:
The website for Share-Net Jordan is expected to be launched in June 2017.
3) Knowledge translation and use
Share-Net Netherlands developed a policy brief on contraception and abortion that explains why and how researchers, practitioners and policy makers can address the gap in women’s access to contraception and safe abortion in 2015. Share-Net Jordan is currently developing a policy brief based on the study conducted on Child Marriage (finalized and disseminated in May 2017). Share-Net Bangladesh developed two infographics: one around GBV and one for the World AIDS Day.
Each year 4 thematic meetings are organised by Share-Net Netherlands together with the working groups active on the respective theme. One ‘extended’ 5-day thematic meeting was organised in 2016 around two interlinked thematic priorities (CSE and YFHS). Jordan organised a round table on Child Marriage and in Burundi all working group meet regularly. Bangladesh organises several meetings i.e. on menstrual hygiene and adolescent SRH.
4) Capacity Building
Share-Net International continuously and actively supports the in-country networks in effectively carrying out their functions through regular skype meetings and e-mail communication. Some examples of capacity building activities of 2016 are the following:
- Write shop Share-Net Burundi: focused on strengthening proposal writing skills in the area of SRHR;
- Support visit to Share-Net Jordan: to support its establishment;
- Short course Share-Net Bangladesh: Behaviour Change Communication in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (BCC in SRHR).
5) Networking and membership
Share-Net International is a membership organisation (see table below) and the Dutch members pay an annual membership fee based on their annual turnover to Share-Net Netherlands.
Country Node Members
- Share-Net Netherlands 25 institutional, 10 universities, 12 individual members
- Share-Net Bangladesh 497 individual members including universities and NGOs
- Share-Net Burundi 32 organisations, 430 individual members
- Share-Net Jordan 14 organisations, 35 individual members
Each year Share-Net International participates in and attends several conferences, including organizing sessions and the Dutch booth. In addition, briefing and debriefing sessions are organised for members to jointly prepare for the conferences and to discuss relevant outcomes of the conferences. For example, Women Deliver, International AIDS Conferences, EuroNGOs and the national HIV/STI Congress. The country nodes also do participate in national and international conferences. For example, Share-Net Bangladesh organised a seminar on Universal Health Coverage Day, Share-Net Burundi co-organised a provincial celebration of World AIDS Day and participated in a launch event for the campaign 16 days against GBV. Share-Net Jordan participated and contributed to Women Deliver in 2016.
Meetings International Stakeholders
Each year the Knowledge Platform organises meetings with a diverse range of international stakeholders such as World Health Organization (WHO), Women Deliver, Guttmacher Institute, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Representatives from Netherlands Embassies in Bangladesh and Burundi are actively involved in the networks and their activities. Representatives from the Netherlands Embassy in Jordan are kept informed and are supportive of Share-Net Jordan but do not have SRHR as a focus policy area.
- Knowledge nodes established
- Three rounds of small grants funds have been awarded to member organisations in focus countries.
- NWO/WOTRO research projects have been launched in Bangladesh and Burundi. A call is underway in Jordan.
- Through our partners Share-Net is now fully active in focus countries
Quote Share-Net Member
“The added value is in the whole: the multiplicity and diversity of activities and how these complement each other.”