Strengthening of public sector provision is key to reaching those with greatest unmet demand for sexual and reproductive health services.
By 2030, it is estimated that the 30 countries currently most off-track in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will be home to four-fifths of people living in extreme poverty. Many of these people will be in countries where the public sector will remain their main provider of sexual and reproductive health services.
While some countries have strong public sector provision, the gaps can be enormous, and the political will can be lacking to reach those with the greatest unmet demand for contraception and those at the greatest risk of unsafe abortion.
Through MSI2030, we will focus on closing these gaps once and for all, partnering with the public sector to build capacity and embed quality assurance mechanisms, working towards national ownership of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare.
MSI’s public sector strengthening (PSS) work focuses on building public sector provision by tailoring programmes to governmental needs and requests. This varies from hands-on training, quality assurance, and supportive supervision programmes with government providers, to more indirect organisational support, such as training-of trainers or logistical management of quality assurance. Regardless of the model, our aim is to close skills and coverage gaps in public sector provision, building sustainable access to a full range of contraceptive methods, as well as safe abortion and post-abortion care.
Public Sector Strengthening is our fastest-growing channel and saw more than 5 million clients in 2021 alone.
But, the transition needed will require partnership beyond MSI and the public sector. Governments must commit to reproductive healthcare commodities in national budgets and supply chain partnerships are needed to ensure those commodities are secured. Plus, as long as stigma and needless restrictions around reproductive healthcare persist, civil society organisations will be pivotal in shifting attitudes at a community and policy-level.
However, with time, partnership, and joint investment, we hope that national ownership of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare can be achieved.