Human security and sexuality in the IPPF Africa Region

Type Journal Article - Chinese Business Review
Title Human security and sexuality in the IPPF Africa Region
Volume 9
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 22-28+
Background: Human security (HS) refers to a paradigm for analyzing and addressing vulnerabilities, which means understanding the linkages between poverty and accountability (UNDP Report, 1994; 2005). These vulnerabilities can be economic; food; health;environmental; personal; community; and political insecurities. Without mechanisms to address these vulnerabilities, there cannot bean enabling environment to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Human Security forms an important part of people’s well being, and thus a need for stock-taking what is known for provisional guidance on the development of Human Securitywithin the SRHR programming. In response to this, an exploratory study was conducted between November 2008 and April 2009 inthe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Liberia and Uganda, selected for their worst experience in human insecurity.Objectives: a) To derive lessons from policy initiatives and interventions that include SRHR as an element of Human Security, and b)Initiate discussion within IPPFAR towards human security policy formulation that can be translated into guidelines for SHR Research questions: Key research questions addressed by this study were; a) How has HS been interpreted and used within thecontext of IPPFAR and other partners work? b) What approaches, including policy initiatives have been used to promote HS in the IPPFAR? c) What are the documented linkages, outcomes and impacts of HS on SRHR? d) What are the lessonslearnt regarding management of HS issues from the global and regional perspective? e) What approaches of HS are likelyto be effective under the conditions prevailing in SSA and what are pitfalls to avoid? f) How can this study allowIPPFAR to operationalize TICAD and other agreements that incorporate human security?Methodology: The study utilised interview methods, on-site observations, success stories gathered using the MostSignificant Change (MSC) methodology, Focus Group Discussions with groups of female, male and youth community members, Key Informant Interviews with partners and stakeholders in Angola, the DRC, Liberia and Uganda. Data was analysed through content analysis and documentation of MSC stories. Findings: The most powerful attribute of Human security is its use by policy makers to set priorities for development.However, competing economic demands make it difficult for SRHR target groups to prioritize RH services in theirhousehold budgets. On the other hand, food insecurity is linked to risky sexual behavior, especially among women asfood insufficiency is associated with inconsistent condom use with a non-primary partner and lack of control in sexualrelationships. Congestion and poor sanitation predispose residents to STDs. The major threat to personal security comefrom domestic violence, and displacement of people caused by wars, greatly weakens family structures and encouragespromiscuity among young girls. There are capacity gaps for implementation of human security interventions in the Africaregion. Therefore, a need to include staff capacity, especially in the areas of advocacy, proposal development, andmonitoring and evaluation in future human security interventions.Conclusions: The major conclusion is that there is potential benefits of this approach for furthering the goals of SRH initiatives in line with the principles and guidelines expressed in the TICAD, Maputo Plan of Action and the MDGs. Recommendations: The key recommendations is that IPPFAR can start to prioritise economic security, communitysecurity and health security which have the greatest impact on the reproductive health of the people. Lessons Learnt: The effective use of family planning services mitigates the effects of other human insecuritiesincluding economic insecurity, food insecurity, and health insecurity as its application in the families will reduce family size and demand on available resources

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