How might we provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to girls and women affected by conflict or disaster?
We are witnessing some of the largest humanitarian crises in history. Conflict and violence have forced more than 65 million people to leave their homes; most will remain within their countries’ borders but 21.3 million have fled as refugees. In 2015, at least 377 million people were affected by natural hazards – such as floods, storms, wildfires, and extreme temperature – contributing to the 21.5 million people who have been forcibly uprooted by weather-related disasters each year since 2008.
“[All] suffer in a crisis, but women and girls face greater challenges and risks to reaching their full potential and leading safe, healthy and dignified lives due to structural gender inequalities. The capacity, knowledge and impact that women and local women’s groups consistently display in a crisis is also rarely recognized, supported or enabled due to these structural inequalities.” World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2016
Of the more than 125 million people affected by humanitarian crises, over 75%, approximately 94 million, are women and children. In both acute and protracted crises, collapsing health and other social support systems disproportionately affect girls and women. All reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health outcomes worsen in these situations. It is estimated that 60% of the world’s preventable maternal deaths occur in settings of conflict, displacement, and natural disaster. Millions of girls and women of reproductive age living in these settings have limited or no control over the circumstances in which they become pregnant, and it is estimated that 25% to 50% of maternal deaths in refugee settings are due to complications of unsafe abortions.
In emergencies all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against girls and women spike, as do instances of transactional sex as a means of survival. This, along with disruptions to health services, increases their vulnerability to sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV.
We’re running this challenge because we believe girls and women have the fundamental right to choose what is best for their bodies, and should be free to exercise this right by making their own informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. As such, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that are affordable, effective, and accessible must be made available before, during, and after periods of acute or protracted instability, conflict, or natural disaster.
“Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) encompass the right of all individuals to make decisions concerning their sexual activity and reproduction free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Specifically, access to SRHR ensures individuals are able to choose whether, when, and with whom to engage in sexual activity; to choose whether and when to have children; and to access the information and means to do so.” UN Foundation's Universal Access Project
Comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services include:
- Information, education and counseling, as appropriate, on human sexuality and reproductive health
- Family planning
- Antenatal, safe delivery and post-natal care
- Prevention and appropriate treatment of infertility
- Prevention and surveillance of violence against girls and women, care for survivors of violence and other actions to eliminate harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting
- Reduce recourse to unsafe abortion, management of the consequences of abortion/miscarriage and access to safe to safe abortion to the fullest extent of the law
- Prevention, detection and treatment of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
We are firmly committed to the principles of the “Leave No One Behind” agenda that seeks to engage and empower marginalised communities. In designing solutions, it is important to understand the entire ecosystem that impacts sexual and reproductive health outcomes including individual perspectives, behaviors, and aspirations; relationships; community and social norms; institutions; and policies. Girls and women face an especially difficult time during emergencies due to compounding discriminations: they are expected to care for their families and communities while at the same time navigating restrictive social and legal structures with far fewer resources to help them along the way.
In addition, girls and women with disabilities, from sexual and ethnic minorities, elderly women, very young girls, etc. are often discriminated against twice: marginalised both on account of their gender and another piece of their identity. They may face social isolation and rejection, and are at risk of living in poverty. They are even less likely to be able to access sexual and reproductive health rights and services.
Understanding these interconnected layers is critical to designing solutions that will enable girls and women to access sexual and reproductive health services. Therefore, ideas from organizations or individuals working with communities directly affected by live crises, displaced by crises, and those at risk of crises are especially welcome. Organizations led by girls and women are also greatly encouraged to apply: it is essential to elevate the voices and to respect the agency of those girls and women who are able and willing to contribute to a humanitarian response.
“Women are often the first responders to a crisis, and play a central role in the survival and resilience of families and communities. Studies show that when women are included in humanitarian action, the entire community benefits. Local women’s groups are also often best placed to mobilize change and respond to crises.” Women in Humanitarian Action
We believe that diverse perspectives are key to solving complex problems, and invite organizations of varying experiences to join this challenge: those who provide services in areas directly affected by humanitarian crises; those who provide sexual and reproductive health services in non-humanitarian settings; those who help improve community resilience and preparedness; as well as innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing their expertise and ingenuity to this issue.
We’re eager to learn about solutions across the humanitarian spectrum including: community resilience; emergency preparedness; service delivery in acute situations, post-crisis, as well as short or long-term refugee, migrant and internally-displaced population settings. We encourage participants to not only consider brand new solutions, but to also innovate within or with existing programs, services, products, or providers.
We’re looking for a wide range of solutions focused on:
- Adolescents' rights and health
- Health services resilience and preparedness
- Protecting the most vulnerable
- Last mile delivery of commodities
OPENIDEO CHALLENGE PROCESS
During the Ideas Phase, we're calling a global community to action. To participate, all you need to do is create an account, log in, and fill out basic information about your Idea. Apply by September 17, 2017 at 11:30PM PT!
Then, on October 2nd we'll announce a set of Shortlisted Ideas that will move forward in the Challenge into a two-week Feedback Phase. During this Phase, we will provide a set of resources and ask contributors to get offline and into their communities to ask for feedback on their Idea. At the same time, a community of issue experts will review and provide feedback to each Shortlisted Idea. Contributors will not be able to edit their Idea during this period of time.
Next we will open the Refinement Phase, during which contributors of each Shortlisted Idea will apply learnings and make final refinements to their proposal. Final revisions will be accepted between October 16 - 26, 2017 at 11:30PM PT.
After a period of review, we look forward to announcing Winning Ideas—a set of selected solutions with great potential to increase their impact through the human centered design process. Amplify will support the evolution of these collaborative concepts into tangible real-world solutions. Winning Ideas will be announced on December 15, 2017!
We hope this process will be a collaborative learning experience for all teams participating in any phase of the Challenge, accelerating innovative ideas into impactful solutions. All contributors will have access to resources and collaboration within the OpenIDEO community. Learn more about OpenIDEO’s Guiding Principles for community engagement here.
- Ideas Phase | August 21 - September 17 | Submit your idea!
- Review Phase | September 18 - October 1 | No Edits to Ideas
- Feedback Phase | October 2 - October 15 | No Edits to Ideas
- Refinement Phase | October 16 - October 26 | Refine your idea!
- Final Review | October 27 - December 14 | No Edits to Ideas
- Winning Ideas | December 15 | Celebrate Winners!
At a minimum, we are looking for Ideas that:
- Are new or in early stages but related to core competencies of your organization or group.
- Will be implemented by an organization or group that is registered in some way in at least one country.
- Have at least one year of experience working in the country in which the idea is to be implemented.
- Have at least one year of experience working in the sector within which the idea is focused.
- Will be implemented in one or more of the 32 eligible countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
For more detailed information, read our full Amplify Evaluation Criteria which outlines everything that we will take into consideration during shortlisting and final evaluation. Though we encourage and appreciate collaboration across contributors, the number of comments and applauds on your idea are not an evaluation consideration.
Please note that Ideas supporting access to safe abortion programming are only eligible if their proposed implementation location legally allows abortion. Learn more here.
HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN MINDSETS
Some of you may be more familiar with IDEO's approach to human-centered design than others—and that’s ok—diversity of experience is important. A few of IDEO.org’s mindsets are listed below for you to consider as you participate in this Challenge and the creative problem solving process. Learn more about these mindsets here.
- Embrace Ambiguity
- Make It
- Learn from Failure
- Creative Confidence
- Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
At least five winners of this challenge will receive an invitation to a four day human-centered design bootcamp, 18 months of design support, and a grant typically between USD $50,000 and $100,000. Learn more about our previous Amplify Challenge winners here.
Amplify is a series of innovation challenges bringing increased collaboration and a human-centered design approach to early stage solutions addressing some of the world’s toughest problems. Amplify is a joint initiative of OpenIDEO, IDEO.org and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It is made possible through DFID funding. Learn more here!
If you have questions or feedback about accessibility, need assistance understanding the Challenge process, or posting your idea to the platform, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you need access to the questions? Here's a link to a PDF of the Ideas Phase questions. Remember to check the platform for character limits for each question.