Policy advice on population dynamics and sexual and reproductive health and rights
Title: Sector Initiative Population Dynamics / Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (PD/SRHR)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018
The world’s population currently stands at over 7.3 billion people and is expected to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050, with the highest growth rates in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. While there is a steady demographic trend indicating an ageing world population, the partner countries of German development cooperation frequently have a disproportionately high level of young people and young adults. Migration and urbanisation have a significant impact on development processes at local, regional and global level.
Improving maternal and child health is crucial to facilitate the implementation of a sustainable, gender-sensitive policy based on human rights. The last 15 years have seen unprecedented progress in terms of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, and yet there are still some 225 million women worldwide without access to modern family planning methods. There are approximately 100 million unwanted pregnancies each year, of which around one third are terminated, many under precarious conditions. In 2013, some 289,000 women, died of largely preventable complications during pregnancy or labour, almost all of them in developing countries.
The position of German development cooperation with regard to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the areas of population dynamics (PD) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is strengthened at national and international level.
The sector initiative focuses on three areas:
Advising the BMZ sectoral division on policy and technical issues
The sector initiative advises the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on policy and technical matters, and provides it with reports and concepts to be used in presenting, refining and implementing its development strategies. One particular emphasis is on providing ongoing support to the BMZ Initiative on Rights-based Family Planning and Maternal Health.
Providing technical support and advice during the implementation process
The sector initiative assists German development cooperation programmes with implementing BMZ positions, proven strategies and new instruments in the areas of PD and SRHR. It works with programmes in the partner countries to develop innovative approaches and support their implementation. The sector initiative analyses and processes results, identifying lessons learned. Relevant topics include the improvement of sexual and reproductive health services, cross-sectoral integration of PD approaches and the realisation of the human right to health. These activities help to strengthen the health system.
Strategic alignment with key partners at national and international level
Through engagement in strategic partnerships, the sector initiative helps to shape the international technical discourse on SRHR, PD and the right to health, and to consolidate expertise and resources for the implementation process. On behalf of BMZ, it collaborates with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health to draw up and implement the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s and Adolescent’s Health. Through its collaboration with the International Confederation of Midwives, the initiative is strengthening national midwifery structures.
As a result of a pilot measure in Togo, population dynamics has been successfully integrated into the country's national agriculture and vocational education strategies, with assistance from the sector initiative. Drawing on a recently produced handbook and the findings of sector-specific studies, the topic will also be incorporated into the next national development strategy.