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Improving data systems and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights  

Advancing evidence-based policies, practices, rights and norms in West Africa and the Middle East 

Despite some progress in sexual and reproductive health and rights in recent decades across West Africa and the Middle East, advancements have been uneven and stalled in some contexts — and have been tested by growing economic and political challenges. A body of actionable, robust and context-specific evidence, generated by local researchers, is needed to overcome barriers and revitalize and accelerate progress. 

From 2017 to 2023, IDRC supported a cohort of 16 implementation research projects in West Africa and the Middle East to advance adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights and strengthen health information systems. Implemented across 11 countries, the projects used community-based approaches to work across sectors (health, education and legal) and transcend disciplinary and service delivery silos. Each initiative worked to strengthen social systems, and focused special attention on issues of gender equality, human rights, fragile settings, research ethics and knowledge translation.  

Our projects

The following projects formed this cohort of locally championed research:  

Preventing teen pregnancy in Benin: Development of a self-esteem-based intervention to empower adolescents 

Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Kenya 
The gendered socialization of very young adolescents in schools and sexual and reproductive health 

Addressing teen pregnancy and early marriage in The Gambia 

Strengthening district health management team capacity to use health information systems data and to engage stakeholders to address teenage pregnancy 

Reducing child mortality: The role of mobile electronic health information system 

Ghana and Senegal 
The Economics of adolescent and reproductive health interventions in selected West African countries 

Establishing a harmonized reproductive health registry in Jordan to improve maternal and child health 

Implementing a perinatal and neonatal mortality surveillance and auditing system in Jordan 

Reducing early marriage of adolescent Syrian refugees in Lebanon: Improving access to sexual and reproductive health information and services 

Strengthening national health information systems in the Middle East towards evidence-informed decision-making in health systems 

Building and sustaining leaders and a research community on reproductive health and gender in the MENA region 

Addressing unmet need for contraceptives among adolescents using community-embedded intervention 

Integrated multisectoral approach to sustainable mother and baby health information system in Senegal 

Multisectoral approaches to early pregnancy prevention in colleges in Togo 

West Bank and Gaza 
Strengthening the adolescent reproductive health information system in West Bank and Gaza 

Reproductive health needs of Palestinian refugee camp girl adolescents: From evidence to policy