Funded with UK aid from the UK government, the Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable SRHR (ACCESS) consortium brings together six partners uniquely positioned to co-create innovative strategies to meet some of the most pressing challenges in a world increasingly affected by natural disasters, prolonged conflict, economic and political crises, and disease outbreaks.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a real example which is having a devastating impact around the world, adding to the existing difficulties experienced by women and girls and marginalized populations, and weakening already fragile health systems. Without action, conditions will worsen – rising insecurity may cause conflict and place a further strain on SRH services.
Led by IPPF, the consortium is comprised of Frontline AIDS, Internews, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, The Open University, and the Women’s Refugee Commission. By leveraging each partner’s comparative strengths, ACCESS will develop a set of evidence-based tools and models that can be adapted and transferred to a range of settings for an improved, community-led SRHR response.
By working with diverse communities in diverse settings in Lebanon, Mozambique, Nepal and Uganda in collaboration with IPPF Member Associations, ACCESS will co-design and test innovative solutions that enable the most marginalized and under-served people to access comprehensive, evidence-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. Compounded by COVID-19, each country has unique circumstances:
- Lebanon, which hosts a huge number of refugees, including 1.5 million refugees from Syria and multi-generational Palestinian refugees who have been in camps and settlements for decades.
- Mozambique, which is now entering the recovery phase after the devastation of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and is vulnerable to natural hazards.
- Nepal, which experienced a devastating earthquake in 2016 and has been working to build resilience to prepare for the impact of climate-driven hazards.
- Uganda, which faces multiple challenges, including natural hazards, large influxes of refugees from unstable bordering countries, and a restrictive SRHR policy environment.
After a productive period of co-creation with the consortium partners and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the implementation of this UK Aid Connect programme commenced in October 2020.