Archive for January, 2013

Although many European donors emphasise sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in their policy rhetoric, their funding of the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa rarely includes performance measures that are suitable for tracking operational progress.  Analysis of health sector strategies shows that they include indicators on maternal health and contraceptive prevalence, but they very rarely include metrics in four critically important areas:

  • Reducing mortality and morbidity from unsafe abortion
  • Preventing and treating gender-based violence
  • Reducing unwanted pregnancies amongst the poorest women
  • Reducing unwanted pregnancies among adolescents.

It is widely recognised that “what gets measured gets done[1].  So in order to promote these four more neglected SRHR issues, practical performance measures need to be identified and included in health sector strategies.

MannionDaniels’s Technical Team Lead, Rolla Khadduri, worked with Sara Seims, Senior Advisor to the Packard Foundation, on identifying performance measures for each of these areas.  Together, they interviewed over 85 experts in the fields of health service delivery, ministries of health, human rights, development economics and social science from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the United States.  This extensive research has led them to provide recommendations on the four top performance measures for these neglected SRHR topics, and recommend they are included in health sector support agreements.

The work culminated in an article titled ‘Measuring improvements in sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa’, which has been published in the December 2012 issue of Reproductive Health Matters.  A full version of the article is available from the authors (please email

[1] Peter Drucker, leading management expert