Sexual and reproductive health

Health systems

The Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) conducts and supports research that addresses key gaps in the evidence base on how to strengthen health systems through health system financing reforms, improved governance and aid effectiveness innovations and partnerships with the private sector, and evaluation research on policy and broad-based programmes designed to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health

Poverty reduction and evaluation research

The Department also conducts research on poverty reduction, equity and the economic effects of improvements in sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

Health system financing research

A health worker counsels a woman on reproductive health and family planning in the Visayas region of central Philippines
Liz Gilbert/David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Photoshare

In recent years, thanks to private foundations and major bilateral and global health initiatives, resources for health care at the global level have grown substantially. However, in the area of sexual and reproductive health, these funds are being directed largely towards HIV/AIDS activities, and overall this has resulted in a reduction in external funds available for some aspects of sexual and reproductive health (e.g. family planning)

UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children

Mothers and babies wait outsite for health workers to arrive at a health post, Nepal.
Ashok Bhurtyal/Courtesy of Photoshare

Too often, cost-effective, high-impact health commodities do not reach the women and children who need them. Some of the barriers to access include the lack of affordable products, lack of age-appropriate formulations- especially for children, weak supply chains, inadequate regulatory capacity at the country level to protect the public from sub-standard or counterfeit medicines that cause harm, and lack of awareness of how, why and when to use these commodities. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children aims to increase access to life-saving medicines and health supplies for the world’s most vulnerable people.


Logo of the third global symposium

Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research - 30 September to 3 October 2014 THEME: science and practice of people-centred health systems