Gender Integration in Family Planning

Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights

On behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH), Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) awarded a one-year grant to Sonke in 2013 to strengthen gender equality and reproductive justice in sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on providing gender-integrated family planning technical assistance to USAID missions across the region. Given the success of the project, Sonke has now received an additional three-year grant to carry on working on the project. In the initial year of this project, Sonke was given technical assistance from APC on family planning and USAID gender and women’s empowerment policies to strengthen Sonke’s internal capacity to carry forth this work. Sonke then completed an organisational capacity assessment, site visit, and three-day technical assistance training for the Ethiopia USAID Mission, in partnership with APC.

The goal of this project is to build Sonke’s capacity to provide gender integration training and technical assistance for family planning programming at the national and regional level, and particularly for USAID Missions and USAID-supported local implementing partners in sub-Saharan Africa. Recognising the complexity of family planning programming, and building on Sonke’s expertise in engaging men in reproductive health issues, Sonke will primarily offer technical assistance to constructively engage men in family planning programmes. This technical assistance will be offered with support from Advancing Partners and Communities (APC). Upon request from USAID Missions, Sonke will strengthen its ability to provide broader gender integration technical assistance for family planning to USAID Missions and local implementing partners, also with APC’s support. Direct capacity building to Sonke to increase their technical expertise in male engagement in family planning, as well as Sonke’s experiences providing gender-integrated technical assistance with APC, will help Sonke establish a reputation for gender trainings and technical assistance for family planning (FP) programming. Furthermore, Sonke will document the process of applying lessons learned from constructive male engagement in HIV and GBV prevention, to constructive male engagement in family planning – providing recommendations that can be used by the larger field.

This project has been rated the highest priority of more than 90 global gender projects by USAID Washington’s Team. In partnership with USAID Advancing Partners and Communities Project, implemented by JSI and FHI360, Sonke provides technical assistance to US Missions and their implementing partners in Africa. Currently focused on Ethiopia, the technical assistance provision attempts to ensure that participants gain an understanding on how gender inequalities and norms affect the objectives and achievements of the Mission.

Staff and partners are able to utilise various techniques for integrating gender, with an emphasis on positive male involvement, into programme planning, activity development and M&E, including designing gender-sensitive indicators and conducting gender specific analyses or assessments and to improve the participants’ skills to assess, record and report gender specific results.