Research conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa

Sexual and Reproductive Health - SET-SRHR logo

The project Strengthening Education and Training Capacity in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Uganda (SET-SRHR) in conjunction with Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS-EUR) and Rutgers will host a Regional Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Entebbe, Uganda.

The conference will take place from 18-19 November, 2020.[1]


The aim of the conference is to promote and strengthen the interconnectedness of research, training, policy and practice to contribute towards the attainment of universal access to SRHR in Africa.

To that end, the conference will provide a platform to varied actors (researchers, trainers, policy makers, practitioners and advocates) to discuss and disseminate the outcomes of their programmes to larger audiences.

In addition, the conference will provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on innovations and lessons from the field and how these can help expand access to SRHR services to diverse groups of people in Africa. Finally, it will provide opportunity for strengthening partnerships and collaboration in the areas of SRHR research, training, policy making, programming and advocacy.

The conference will feature a broad range of sessions including high level panel discussions, keynote speeches, abstract driven presentations and plenary sessions. Satellite presentations and exhibitions will provide opportunity for professional development and networking. Conference proceedings will be published and disseminated widely. Invited regional researchers will collaborate with Researchers from Uganda to write comparative papers for the second edited volume of the project.

Call for papers

The Conference organizers are interested in empirical papers that address any of the following sub themes:

This sub-theme will focus on studies/interventions relating to equity in access, quality of care and accountability for SRHR services including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Availability, accessibility to and quality of family planning services and commodities;
  • Antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, including emergency obstetric care;
  • Safe abortion services and treatment of the complications of unsafe abortion;
  • Prevention and treatment of HIV infection and other STIs;
  • Prevention, detection and management of sexual and gender-based violence;
  • Prevention, detection and management of reproductive cancers, especially cervical cancer;
  • Information, counselling and services for infertility;
  • Comprehensive sexuality education for in and out of school youth.

This sub-theme will focus on the socio-economic, cultural, religious and other belief systems and how they impact on SRHR policy uptake and service outcomes.

This sub-theme will focus on the relationship between human rights and SRHR and will cover the following:

  • Issues related to the protection of individuals against coercion, discrimination and violence;
  • Issues related to availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of information, education and services;
  • Issues related to accountability of duty bearers and mechanisms for redress of abuses and violations of rights of individuals. Human rights related to SRHR, include the right of individuals and couples to make decisions concerning their health and reproduction free of discrimination, coercion, and violence as expressed in human rights documents;
  • Shift in SRHR programming from simply meeting needs to doing so in ways that fulfil human rights.

This sub-theme will focus on studies or programmatic interventions relating participation and inclusion of individuals and communities in SRHR planning and decision making, leadership and policy engagements, financing mechanisms, accountability for recourses and for results, mechanisms for assessment of progress, partnerships and multi-sectoral collaboration among others.

This sub-theme will cover innovative approaches in training and education, curriculum development, knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfers, translation of knowledge and skills into practice for improved SRHR outcomes among others.  

​​​​​​This sub-theme will focus on studies that assess availability and access to SRHR services in the context of national responses to Covid-19.  

Researchers/ SRHR practitioners who have completed SRHR studies in or about Africa on any of the sub-themes above and are interested in presenting at the conference should send their abstracts to no later than 31 August 2020.

Abstracts should be written in English, presented in Microsoft word format, and should not exceed 350 words.

The conference offers two options for abstract submission:

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 August 2020
  • Review of abstracts: 1-12 September 2020
  • Communication of results of abstract selection: 14 September 2020
  • Reminder for submission of full paper: 15 October 2020
  • Deadline for submission of full papers/presentation: 30 October 2020
  • Conference: 18 and 19 November 2020

Limited funding is available to support travel, accommodation and meals for selected presenters based in Africa.

Presenters outside Africa are encouraged to seek resources to cover their travel, accommodation, meals and any other expenses.

Any inquiries should be directed to

SET- SRHR is a four-year project (2016-2020) funded by the Netherlands Universities’ Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC). The Project aims to strengthen SRHR education and training capacity and contributes towards sustainable demographic and human capital development and inclusive economic growth in Uganda. A consortium led by ISS-EUR in collaboration with Rutgers in the Netherlands, and MakSPH and NTISD in Uganda is implementing the project.

Project outcomes and outputs are tracked around five key thematic strategies:

  1. Organizational Capacity Enhancement to strengthen the institutional capacity of MakSPH and NTISD to deliver evidence based and innovative SRHR education and training
  2. Revision and development of an accredited standardized gender and age sensitive Curriculum
  3. Curriculum Delivery via a professional and an academic track targeting diverse pre and in-service frontline SRHR professionals at various levels
  4. Research and documentation - high-quality academic and policy relevant SRHR research
  5. A sustainable SRHR Research Community of Practice – Utafiti na Kutenda - A platform for diverse stakeholders to network and engage in evidence-based SRHR policy and discourse and action.

[1] Should current Covid-19 related travel and social distancing restrictions persist through November, the conference will take place online or adopt a blend of in-person and online participation.

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