Social Analysis and Action to Enhance Family Planing Knowledge Sharing Initiative (FY09)

The SRH team strongly believes that improving sexual and reproductive health is central to CARE’s commitment to gender equity and reducing poverty and social injustice. For several years, SRH staff have been committed to and guided by Social Analysis and Action (SAA) approaches that help identify and address social factors the affect SRH, particularly those that impact family planning. SAA maintains that effective development work includes: i) approaching culturally laden SRH behaviors and perceptions from the perspective of community members rather than our own, ii) community mobilization entails the inclusion of groups prone to marginalization and discrimination iii) a commitment to genuine and reciprocal dialogue that respects local knowledge, while challenging assumptions at the individual and/or household level, and finally ii) community planning and action that recognizes, reinforces, and supports shifts in social norms and associated behaviors.

To begin an analysis of social and cultural barriers to family planning through an SAA lens,
the SRH team facilitated a knowledge sharing (KS) initiative between six country offices in 2009. The countries include Cambodia, Ghana, Honduras, Madagascar, Peru, and Sierra Leone. An SAA champion for each country traveled to Rwanda in October 2009 to attend the Social Change and Family Planning workshop and to kick off the KS initiative. At the workshop, the group focused on facilitating “staff transformation” as a key component of CARE’s work. This foundational step is a crucial component of our work because we believe that in order to make a difference in the world around us, we first need to turn inwards and explore our own values and beliefs.

KS staff worked with their colleagues and partners to explore their own, personal ideas and values on household roles and responsibilities, decision-making and negotiation, and sensitive topics like adolescent sexuality, stigma, and gender-based violence. Once CARE staff and partners became more comfortable with SAA exercises and tools, the community was engaged in a frank dialogue that centered on exploration, learning, reflection, and challenging of local assumptions that influence health.

Purpose: To integrate Social Analysis and Action (SAA) into CARE’s programs to address the complex social and cultural barriers that impact access to family planning and global learning.

Participating Country Offices: Honduras, Peru, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Ghana, Cambodia, USA

Overview of Country Programs


Deepening Social Analysis of FP Delivery
SAA presentation 27 03 2009 2.ppt
Youth and Family Planning
SAA Orientation - Dec 2008 - English.doc
SAA Orientation - Dec 2008 - Spanish.doc
Progress Report Feb 09 - Eng.doc
Reporte de avances PF a Feb 09.doc


Of Myths and Men: Exploring barriers to FP

SAA Workshop Report-CARE NGO Partner Phnom Penh.doc
SAA Workshop Report March - Koh Kong.doc


Empowering men to empower women

COMENTARIOS DE AHMARC - Huancavelica.doc

Integrating SAA into the Champion Communes Approach

1st SAA workshop report - English.doc
Rapport atelier SAA Foulepointe.pdf
2nd SAA workshop report - French.pdf
Annexes 2nd workshop - French.pdf

Sierra Leone

Exploring opportunities for FP/HIV integration

Preliminary Findings on SAA and FP.doc

December and January have been busy month for our team. We’ve been in the process of developing an overall research design for the Results Initiative, led by Marcie and a researcher from Emory University. Remember the “family planning results model” we shared in Rwanda? It is the triangle model that has strategies, intermediate results, and strategic objectives. This is the model that the Results Initiative is using. Click here. Each of the 4 countries participating in the Results Initiative (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia) have put together detailed implementation and M&E plans to guide their work over the upcoming 2 years. The team has developed a table of common indicators for the initiative. Take a look at them and let us know how they relate to your specific Knowledge Sharing projects. Is there anything you would add?

Several of our team members will be traveling to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda from later January to March to conduct a qualitative baseline and prepare the in-country teams to carryout the quantitative data collection. We’ll be looking at three main themes related to knowledge, attitudes and behaviors that are associated with family planning at the individual and household level, community norms, and access and quality of services. The baseline will also attempt to better understand the role of gender and other social determinants in relation to family planning use.

As for the methodology—we are using an exciting mix of different methods to get at these questions from different angles. Methods like community mapping to measure awareness of barriers/facilitators to FP use, community meetings to promote dialogue, pile-sorting to get at FP myths, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews to capture personal attitudes and experiences through personal storytelling. Have you, or do you plan to, used any of these methods for your projects?

We are also using some of the tools in the resources we used in Rwanda (SAA manual, ISOFI, AIDS Alliance, etc.) like the Ideal Man or Woman (SAA Tool #1) to explore issues like What should a woman or man do? How should a woman or man behave in public? How should a woman or man look after children? How should a woman or man utilize FP? Also focus group discussions (SAA Tool #6) with 8 – 10 people and about 10 questions with many probe questions (why, where, when, who, etc.).

It is an exciting time for the SRH Team! The Results Initiative is well underway as are your projects under the Knowledge Sharing Fund. We look forward to hearing about what you are doing. You are the key to the success of these projects and we hope you take the time to jot a few informal (or formal!) notes here on the wiki. After all, we are here to share knowledge and learn from one another
! (just click on the "edit this page" button and share away!) -
-Arzum & Luis

Family Planning KSI update - Dec 2008.doc
Family Planning KSI update - Feb 2009.doc

Thanks to a special donation by a private donor, two country initiatives are moving into Phase II. Honduras and Madagascar are working together to create a vision for strengthened SRH programming and to enhance the integration of both FP and social change strategies into their programming as a whole, consistent with the project to program shift.