It is estimated that about 40 percent of all pregnancies in developing countries are unintended, that is, not wanted at all, or occurring at a time different than desired. Of these, almost one half result in an abortion, of which about 55 percent (or 21 million per year) are unsafe abortions, leading to an estimated 47,000 deaths per year.
To reduce the burden of unintended pregnancy, especially for poor and marginalized women, DFID is supporting the scaling up of access to family planning (FP) and safe abortion (SA) services. The Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP) Research Program Consortium (RPC) was created to respond to DFID’s Terms of Reference for a programme of research on “Meeting the Unmet Need for Family Planning and Improve Access to Safe Abortion.
The objective of the project is to generate policy-relevant research that promotes the use of an evidence-based approach for improving access to family planning (FP) and safe abortion in Kenya, Ghana and Senegal. As a result of this research, reproductive health programs will be strengthened and expanded so that they function more effectively and efficiently, increasing quality service coverage while they address women’s and men’s reproductive health rights and foster increased political commitment to maternal health. By the end of the project, the research will have developed and evaluated innovative service delivery and financing models to increase the range of options available to policymakers and programme managers.