Study showing positive effects of Sonke, RFSU and Reproductive Health Uganda collaboration

Abstract: This study examined the impact of a three-year intervention project conducted in the Hoima district of Uganda, which sought to engage men in sexual and reproductive health as clients, equal partners and advocates of change. Structured surveys with 164 self-reported heterosexual men aged 18-54 years were used to assess knowledge and attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health. Data from these were analysed using Stata and SPSS. Additionally, five focus groups were conducted with the female partners and male beneficiaries of the project and with project peer educators. Four interviews were conducted with project staff and male beneficiaries. Data from these and the focus groups were analysed using a thematic approach.

Following the intervention, a significantly greater number of men accessed, and supported their partners in accessing sexual health services services, had gained sexual and reproductive health awareness, reported sharing domestic duties and contraceptive decision-making, and displayed a decreased tolerance for domestic violence. It was more difficult to assess men’s involvement and behaviours as advocates of change, which sheds light on the complexities of a gender transformative project and the importance of evaluating such projects from both men’s and their partners’ perspectives and at different levels of the male involvement model in sexual and reproductive health.

Lessons learned from engaging men in sexual and reproductive health