Browse POLICY Project (1995-2006) Materials
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- Adolescent Reproductive Health
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Country and regional assignments reflect those made at the time of production and may not correspond to current USAID designations.
List entries are alphabetical by title and contain the title, abstract, language, and then the filename which is hyperlinked and will open in a new browser window. Many files are PDFs but some of the older ones are Word documents.
Burkina FasoMore recent Burkina Faso publications are available.
At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, more than 180 countries, including 38 sub–Saharan African countries, drafted and ratified the Programme of Action that includes support for the provision of sexual and reproductive health education, information, and services to adolescents. Addressing adolescent reproductive health (ARH) issues is particularly crucial in sub–Saharan Africa, where rates of maternal mortality, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), among youth are the highest in the world. Despite the obvious importance of the topic, ARH remains a controversial subject in the sub–Saharan region. Consequently, the exercise of caution in approaching the subject has led to a gap between the declarations of governmental officials and the actual design of reproductive health policies and programs geared toward youth. This paper provides a practical means of assessing reproductive health policies and programs geared toward adolescents. First, it presents major elements of ARH policy and program development and sets benchmarks against which future policy and program development can be measured. Second, the paper compares ARH policy and program development in three Francophone African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Togo.
1998, le Réseau de recherche en santé reproductive
The 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) increased worldwide focus on reproductive health. Many countries have been working to revise their reproductive health policies in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action. In 1998, the Network for Reproductive Health Research in Africa (RESAR), with support from the POLICY Project, conducted case studies in five Francophone African countries-Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Mali-to examine field experiences in formulating and implementing reproductive health policies. Findings were based on in-depth interviews with key informants active in the reproductive health field in their respective countries. Because the five countries are located in the same region, they exhibit many similarities, yet each differs slightly in the challenges it faces and the approaches it takes to confront them. In general, the five countries have made considerable progress in integrating the concept of reproductive health into policies and programs, although more needs to be done to disseminate new policies and implement effective programs. While some aspects of reproductive health generate opposition, particularly programs for youth and programs against female genital cutting, overall support for reproductive health has increased in recent years. Governments are allowing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in policy formulation, and most countries are devoting more internal resources to reproductive health. Though these changes are encouraging, continued resistance on the part of the public sector to full partnership with NGOs, as well as the varying capabilities of many NGOs, has hindered NGO participation. Moreover, countries are still highly dependent on support from international donors for their funding. Less progress has been made in program implementation than in policy formulation. Some concrete changes are apparent, but the task of converting the concept of reproductive health into a reality in the field is sure to be a long, slow process. Poverty and underdevelopment in the region are major constraints to reproductive health programs; consequently, countries must focus their efforts on priority interventions and use their existing resources more efficiently. The case studies also highlight the need to continue efforts to create broad-based support for reproductive health programs, improve coordination among stakeholders, strengthen NGOs so that they can effectively participate in the policy process, and enhance the financial sustainability of programs.
This brief examines the extent to which the 1994 ICPD has shaped reproductive health policies and programs in five Francophone African countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali. All five countries have made significant progress in developing reproductive health policies, but only limited progress in implementation. This brief discusses the policy process, program implementation, financial resources, participation and coordination, and understanding of, acceptance of, and opposition to reproductive health.
The countries of West Africa have some of the highest levels of unmet need for family planning in the world. During the six-year period (1995–2000) following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, there were an estimated 12 million unintended pregnancies in the 18 West Africa Regional Program (WARP) countries. Yet family planning programs are currently low on most national agendas and there is no concerted effort to address the expressed need for family planning. To reduce the health and development consequences of unintended fertility in West Africa, policymakers and planners need to study the characteristics of women with a demonstrated unmet need for family planning and use that information to improve policies and programs. This series of briefing papers is designed to contribute to that effort by offering some perspectives on the nature and dimensions of unmet need based on the findings of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 11 West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. This brief focuses on Burkina Faso.