How a Large-Scale, Global SRHR Programme Adapted to COVID-19: Findings from the FCDO Flagship WISH Programme

Session Date: April 22, 2021

Session Description: Launched in September 2018, the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme is a FCDO flagship multi-country sexual and reproductive health initiative that promises to benefit a significant number of women, from the young to marginalised groups, in line with the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. The programme operates across 27 high need countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, implemented by two separate consortia. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 found sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) implementers without a roadmap and with limited guidance for how to continue operations in these dynamic and changing circumstances. In response, WISH consortium partners had to quickly undertake wide-ranging adaptations to continue the provision of SRHR services to those most in need, while still delivering on their contractual commitments and targets. These rapid responses related to how services were delivered and how the overall program was governed. There are important lessons and experiences to share more widely that can inform and shape future guidance and protocols for SRHR programme teams to follow in current and future similar situations. There will be four presentations: • Leonard Cheshire, ThinkPlace and organisations of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone will share co-design interventions to reach persons with disabilities developed through Design by Distance. • IPPF WISH2ACTION will share the adaptation and preparation to ensure that SRHR was a key service during the restrictions. • OPM will share how the programme continued to verify programme results and monitored quality of care remotely. • Itad will share the results from documenting what worked in our review of adaptations across the programme. Followed by facilitated discussion to discuss: • How do you maintain the equity of your service provision? • How do you use technology to circumvent some of the barriers COVID-19 poses? And ensure equity? • How do you capitalise on innovations made under COVID-19 for the future? • How do SRH programmes become more flexible, adaptable and resilient in the future?