Emerging Ideas at the Open Space Sessions

The final hours of the conference were devoted to a series of Open Space discussions, intended to encourage a free exchange of ideas on how to advance SRHR through greater accountability, better harmonisation and participation, and improved data quality. Participants were invited to propose any workshop they thought would enable delegates to share experiences and strategies. The results from the Open Space workshops are included in the summary of recommendations.

The delegates were encouraged to walk from workshop to workshop and settle in those spaces where they were best able to learn or contribute. In two sessions, the following workshops were held:

Role of faith and religion in promoting better accountability and participation

This workshop was held to enhance better understanding of the role of faith-based organisations for advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Sharing experiences from different countries, participants exchanged on opportunities, strategies and risks.

Making contraceptives available at the last mile

Here, participants looked at practical solutions on how to secure access to family planning and engaging multiple stakeholders in communities for better accountability on the ground.

Concerns about indicator for SDG 5.6

(‘ensure universal access to SRH as agreed with the ICPD Programme of Action and the Bejing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences’)

In this technical workshop, participants were concerned with indicator 5.6.2, ‘Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee women aged 15-49 years access to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education’. As this indicator is marked “tier3”, meaning the methodology of reporting has not been determined yet, participants looked at ways on how to set standards for the appropriate review of this indicator.

Gaps in international advocacy to advance accountability and implementation of the SDGs

Looking at different advocacy mechanisms that exist or existed in the realm of SRHR, this workshop looked at what is needed to foster implementation. Participants strategised on how to enhance and complement advocacy efforts and multi-stakeholder dialogue to advance accountability and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Leveraging the ICPD movement for the SDGs

In this session, participants looked at synergies between the review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and the review of the SDGs. During the discussion delegates identified linkages between the goals of both agendas regarding SRHR and debated how civil society organisations (CSO) could engage in the harmonization of the review processes.

What do we do in UNECE?

While SRHR discussions tend to focus around regions with a prevalence of emerging and developing countries in the global South, this workshop addressed issues and challenges of the follow-up and review of SDG implementation in and by Europe and the role of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which also includes North America and Central Asia.

Advancing SRHR in the era populism and fundamentalism

This discussion was held in light of recent political developments that potentially inhibit efforts of the SRHR community and aimed at finding creative ways for the advancement of SRHR despite “non-factual”environments.

Practicing interlinkages between movements

The organiser of this workshop invited participants to discuss linkages between SRHR and other sectors, and to strategise on how to make use of synergies between other civil society movements and sectors beyond health and the SRHR community, such as movements focusing on peace, human rights and inclusive societies.

‘Youth Speak Out’ – The power in working with young people in advancing SRHR

Emphasising the importance of youth participation and empowerment, this workshop was held to exchange ideas and experiences on innovative initiatives concerning data driven accountability.

SRHR Accountability within a Human Rights Framework + Migrant Populations

Participants in this workshop discussed different human rights mechanisms for the advancement of SRHR and identified the need to harmonise existing global and regional mechanisms down to the national level for greater accountability. Furthermore they exchanged experiences on migrant populations and access to SRH services.

SRHR and Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

This workshop focused on the opportunity of linking efforts concerning SRHR to other areas in the health sector, specifically Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Participants discussed synergies between the two areas within the review process of the SDGs.