October 30th – November 17th 2023
The Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series is back from October 30 to November 17 as an exciting virtual mini-conference! The premier self-care event of the year features more than twenty sessions that cut across hot topics in self-care research, programming, and advocacy.
Join us to unlock insights, ignite innovation, and make global connections! Organized by White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) on behalf of the Self-Care Trailblazer Group (SCTG), this is where self-care takes center stage.
There’s no fee to participate and everyone is welcome!
***Live simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French, and Spanish***
Wednesday, Nov 1
8:30-9:30 AM EST / 12:30-1:30 PM GMT
Kick off the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series with an energizing opening plenary! Participants will reflect back on key milestones in self-care through an interactive timeline activity, and then we’ll look forward with a keynote address about the impact and future of self-care from Dr. Guillermo Ortiz, Senior Medical Advisor at Ipas.
10:00-11:30 AM EST / 2:00-3:30 PM GMT
Knowledge-sharing between Latin America and the U.S. to develop a person-centered, community- and rights-based digital abortion self-care solution
During this dynamic session, we’ll discuss how Latin America’s harm-reduction safe abortion models help push and imagine new possibilities in a challenging setting like a post-Dobbs world and explore how we applied evidence and adapted a solution from Latin America to the U.S. through human-centered design and strategic partnerships.
- Roopan Gill, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Vitala Global, Canada
- James Estrada, Latinx Innovation Lead, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, United States
- Lucia Villavicencio, Senior Innovation Lead, Planned Parenthood Global, Ecuador
- Diana Moreno, Advocacy Director, Profamilia, Colombia
- Caitlin Gerdts, Vice President of Research, Ibis Reproductive Health, USA
- Daniela Tellez, Executive Director, Di Ramona, Mexico
- Sandra Cardona, Co-Founder, Necesito Abortar, Mexico
- Lynsey Bourke, Director of Regional Programs, DKT Mexico
- Susana Medina, Co-Director of Sustainable Ecosystem Unit, Intersectional Approaches, Fòs Feminista, United States
- Isabel Perez, Care Team Lead, Vitala Global Foundation
- Farah Diaz-Tello, Senior Counsel, If/When/How, United States
- Martha Dimitratou, Social Media Manager, Plan C Pills, United States
- Melissa Madera, Special Projects Consultant, Plan C Pills, United States
Organizers: Vitala Global Foundation and Planned Parenthood Federation of America
The missing ingredient in self-care: Behavior change. A case study on adaptive behavioral programming
Self-care requires complex behavior change. To increase uptake and maintenance of self-care, programs must address social and behavioral drivers. Learn about the Social & Behavior Change Self-Care Framework and participate in a knowledge-sharing session on learnings and best practices for designing effective behavior change programs for self-care.
- Abigail Winskell, Project Director, Delivering Innovation in Self-Care (DISC), Population Services International
- Heather Hancock, Senior Program Officer, John Hopkins University
- Andréa Ferrand, Social and Behavior Change Senior Technical Advisor, Population Services International
- Alison Pack, Program Officer, John Hopkins University
Organizers: Population Services International and John Hopkins University
THURSDAY, Nov 2
6:00 – 7:30 AM EST / 11:00 – 12:30 PM GMT
Can self-care be applied for postnatal care? Yes, it can!
Despite recommendations for women and newborns to have three postnatal visits in the first week of life, coverage remains low in many countries. Family-Led Postnatal Care (FLPC) offers a promising self-care model to safeguard the health and wellbeing of postnatal women and newborns. This session will explore development of the FLPC model and materials in Ethiopia, present research study findings, and invite families, community members, and midwives to reflect on their direct experiences.
- Inés Alvarez-Gortari, Strategic Designer, ThinkPlace, Kenya
- Anne Hyre, Overall Project Director, Antenatal/Postnatal Research Collective, United States
- Della Berhanu, Ethiopia Project Director, Antenatal/Postnatal Research Collective, Ethiopia
- Konjit Wolde, Technical Advisor Antenatal/Postnatal Research Collective, Ethiopia
- Dedefo Teno, Program Manager Antenatal/Postnatal Research Collective, Ethiopia
- Gadise Bekele, FPNC Research Lead, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Ethiopia
- Tigist Awekelign, Midwife, Hidi Health Center, Ethiopia
- Abebu Muche, Midwife, Denkaka Health Center, Ethiopia
- Hirut Ayele, Custodian, Ude Village, Ethiopia
- Shuferu Degisew, Custodian, Bekejo Village, Ethiopia
- Abreham Sisay, FPNC Family/ Spouse, Ude Village, Ethiopia
- Kelemuwa Ayigoda, FPNC Mother, Hidi Village, Ethiopia
MindSKILLZ for self-care: Implementation of an accessible, sport-based, community adolescent mental health intervention in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya
Poor mental health is the most critical health challenge facing young people globally, yet support services are scarce. This session will showcase a promising intervention called MindSKILLZ, a sport-based mental health promotion and prevention program for adolescents being implemented in Kenya. Hear from MindSKILLZ coaches and participants, take part in a sample MindSKILLZ exercise, and leave with rich insights into how a near-peer-led intervention can build young people’s self-care assets.
- Anthony Chazara, Technical Officer, Adolescents and Young People, Digital Health, & One2One Youth, LVCT Health, Kenya
- Charmaine Nyakonda, Mental Health Specialist, GRS Inc.
- Benjamin Mutuku, Program Officer, Mental Health, LVCT Health
- Zakiah Magero, MindSKILLZ Coach, LVCT Health
- Umi Said, MindSKILLZ Coach, LVCT Health
- Elizabeth Okoth, Partnerships Program Manager, GRS Kenya
Organizers: Grassroot Soccer, LCVT Health
8:00-9:30 AM EST / 12:00 - 1:30 PM GMT
More places and spaces: Supporting self-care promoters in facilities, pharmacies, and communities
Self-care can be practiced everywhere, especially when different cadres and channels are equipped to support people managing their own health. This flash session will feature research and programming insights—from stable and humanitarian settings—on how to increase uptake of sexual and reproductive health self-care, including innovative approaches to train providers, promising strategies to expand pharmacy access, and more.
- The power of empathy in supporting women to self-inject (Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi) | Fauzia Tariq, M&E Advisor, Population Services International
- The role of feminist accompaniment groups and safe abortion hotlines in training the formal healthcare workforce in safe abortion care (Argentina, Indonesia, Nigeria) | Ijeoma Egwuatu, Director Data, Innovation and Communications, Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN)
- Self-managed contraception availability and readiness of self-care promoters (SCPs) in Bidibidi and Palabek refugee settlements, Uganda | Juliet Nabunje, Senior Research and Innovation Officer, International Rescue Committee
- Improving access to quality contraception and self-care: Exploring the viability of private pharmacies stocking and selling DMPA-SC for self-injection (Kenya) | Laura Nabwire, Kenya Practice Lead, inSupply Health Ltd
- Increasing access to self-managed abortion through pharmacies: Programmatic results and lessons from pilot testing in Oromiya, Ethiopia | Bekalu Chekol, Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor, Ipas Ethiopia
- Increasing Access to HIV Self-Testing in the Private Sector in Nigeria | Dr. Olawale Durosinmi-Etti, Country Director, JSI Research & Training Institute
- Réponse d’urgence en SSR à l’Est de la RDC (SRH Emergency Response in Eastern DRC) | Célestin Iyango, Focal Point Zone Est DRC, Ipas Democratic Republic of Congo
- Sustaining Self-Care Through Stakeholder-led Supportive Supervision and Mentorship: The DISCNG Approach (Nigeria) | Simeon Christian Chukwu, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Society for Family Health
Moderated by: Bhavya Gowda, Senior Market Access and Commercialization Lead, PATH
From resolution to revolution: Country insights on building an enabling policy environment for self-care
For self-care to be truly institutionalized and widely practiced, an enabling environment is crucial. Join this panel discussion to hear key insights from advocates and experts at the vanguard of accelerating self-care policy initiatives in their countries and contexts. Leave with approaches, lessons, inspiration, and tools that you can adapt and apply in your setting!
- Building an Enabling Environment for Self-Care: Kenya’s Country Experience Adapting and Adopting National Self-Care Guidelines | Pamela Adhiambo, Advocacy and Communications Officer, Reproductive Health Network Kenya
- Domesticating Self-Care Policies: Uganda’s Sandboxing Approach to Adapting WHO Self-Care Guidelines | Moses Muwonge, Advisor, Samasha Medical Foundation
- Nigeria’s Self-Care Revolution: United to form a common advocacy agenda across humanitarian and development contexts | Tahirat Omolara Eniola, Research and Innovation Manager, Nigeria, International Rescue Committee
- Mobilizing advocates for self-care across sectors and health areas in Senegal | Ida Ndione, Senior Program Officer, PATH
- The role of self-injection in paving the way for wider self-care guidelines in Zambia| Monica Mutesa, Country Coordinator Access Collaborative Zambia, PATH
- Insights and Recommendations for DMPA-SC Self-Administration in India | Sushanta Kumar Banerjee, Chief Technical Officer, Research and Evaluation, Ipas Development Foundation
Moderated by: Kimberly Whipkey, Senior Advocacy and Communications Manager, White Ribbon Alliance Global
Wednesday, Nov 8
6:00 – 7:30 AM EST / 11:00 – 12:30 PM GMT
Pills by post, pills by prescription & telemedically-supported community health workers: African self-care models for abortion/postabortion care
Telemedically-supported abortion and postabortion self-care can increase access to services and be more responsive to patient needs than in-clinic options. This session will get practical and present three different African self-care models for abortion/postabortion care as implemented in Ghana, Cameroon, and South Africa. Learn how factors such as cost, internet penetration, digital literacy, retail availability of abortifacients, patient preferences, financial infrastructure, and postal/courier system performance influence service delivery design, and leave with concrete considerations for your own context.
- Verónica Fernández, Operations Manager, Women on Web
- Victoria Satchwell, Executive Director, Abortion Support South Africa, South Africa
- Zyh Akumawah, Executive Director, EasyHealth Cameroon, Cameroon
- Elymas E. Dekonor, Head of Marketing, Marie Stopes Ghana
Organizers: Abortion Support South Africa, Women on Web
Self-care and empathy workshop: Building self-care experiences that work for youth
In this skills-building workshop, join us to dive deep into human-centered design (HCD), exploring how it elevates our ability to create interventions that align with the self-care needs of young people. Prepare for blue-sky thinking and a practical opportunity to learn and practice ideation and creative approaches to designing self-care interventions that center young people. Depart with HCD ideation tools, templates, and the confidence to empower youth in your mission for enduring change.
- Liz McNeil, HCDExchange, Senior Community Manager, Kenya
- Joel Munyaradzi, HCDExchange, Senior HCD Lead, Zimbabwe
- Susan Towett, HCDExchange, Youth Engagement Officer, Kenya
- Collins Ongola, PSI/A360 County Coordinator & HCDExchange Youth Leadership Hub Associate, Kenya
Organizers: HCDExchange and Population Services International/A360
8:00 – 9:30 AM EST / 1:00 – 2:30 PM GMT
“Permission to take care of ourselves”: The importance of self-care for staff and volunteers at GBV and LGBTIQ organizations
Frontline activists in anti-GBV and pro-LGBTIQ movements often experience vicarious trauma and burnout. However, needs of staff are seldom considered when funding organizations. In this interactive session, leaders of three community-led organizations in Uganda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe discuss the difference small supplemental grants have made to staff mental health and self-care.
- Leah Odle-Benson, Deputy Director Impact and Learning, Stephen Lewis Foundation, Canada
- Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, Executive Director, Freedom and Roam Uganda
- Mpumi Zondi, Clinical Director, Sophiatown Community Psychological Services, South Africa
- Dinah Sisipenzi, Head of Counselling, Musasa, Zimbabwe
Organizers: Stephen Lewis Foundation, Freedom and Roam, Musasa, and Sophiatown Community Psychological Services
Utilizing private pharmacies for self-care products and services
Many self-care initiatives require the provision of products from a trained individual who can answer questions the end-user has, making private pharmacies an ideal delivery channel. The fact that they have longer operational hours, less waiting times as well as trained pharmacy providers makes them a preferred channel for many audiences. This panel will look at how to determine whether private pharmacies are more likely to increase access to self- care initiatives; the potential of and lessons learned in working with pharmacies; and a comparison between private pharmacies’ clientele’s demographic and outcomes and those accessing self-care in public sector settings.
- Alemeshet Ayalew, Pharmacist, Ethiopia
- Risha Hess, Principal, Propelevate, United States
- Tabitha Kareithi, Pharmacist, Partners in Health and Research Development, Kenya
- Josselyn Neukom, Senior Vice President Public Health, SwipeRx, Vietnam
Organizers: Propelevate, SwipeRx, and the Pharm PrEP partnership
Thursday, Nov 9
8:00 – 9:30 AM EST / 1:00 – 2:30 PM GMT
From a UN Political Declaration to country implementation: How to ensure UHC global commitments lead to the scaling up of self-care?
Although self-care was not included in the 2023 UHC Political Declaration, it contains important commitments relevant to young people and their access to health care. This session will highlight concrete actions advocates can take to strengthen self-care initiatives in-country and how to use the UHC Political Declaration as an advocacy tool.
Moderator: Ruele Okeyo, Director, Kenneth and Jacob’s House
- Priscilla Ama Addo, Communications and Advocacy Graduate Trainee, Y+ Global;
- Cyprian Komba, Project Coordinator, Network of young people living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania (NYP+)
- Elina Mwasinga, National Coordinator, National Association for Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Malawi)
- Wankumbu Simukonda, District Coordinator, Copper Rose Zambia
Organizers: Aidsfonds, Y+ Global, You(th) Care partnership
Pioneering self-care solutions to drive access to HIV prevention and family planning
This session will amplify lessons from five self-care interventions in family planning and HIV prevention — with case studies on DMPA-SC, the Caya Diaphragm, the Dual Prevention Pill, HIV self-testing, and Triggerise, an mHealth platform – to highlight successful self-care strategies applicable across settings and discuss the future of self-care in sexual and reproductive health.
- Mitchell Warren, Executive Director, AVAC, United States
- Wawira Nyagah, Director of Product Introduction and Access, AVAC, Kenya
- Anna Rammou, Interim Manager, SRHR Access, CIFF, United Kingdom
- George William Barigye, Regional Technical Advisor- Anglophone countries, DMPA-SC Access Collaborative, PATH, Uganda
- Alexandra Angel, FP Technical Advisor, MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery (MPHD), PSI, United States
- Charlotte Pahe, Project Lead, Integrated Portfolio, PS Kenya, Kenya
- Serah Malaba, Chief Impact Officer, Triggerise, Kenya
- Kate Segal, Senior Program Manager, Product Introduction and Access, AVAC, United States
Organizers: AVAC, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
10:00 – 11:30 AM EST / 3:00 – 4:30 PM GMT
Scaling up self-injectable contraception: Promising strategies, practical questions
DMPA-SC self-injection is an important strategy for promoting women’s contraceptive access, choice, and autonomy, with a growing number of countries moving toward introduction and scale up. This panel will share research findings from several countries that illuminate the potential of DMPA-SC self-injection to meet diverse women’s and adolescents’ needs and surface practical questions and solutions where rollout is underway.
- Understanding inter-facility variation in DMPA-SC self-injection uptake in Uganda: Does low uptake indicate lack of demand? | Allen Namagembe, Deputy Project Director, PATH
- Mobile Outreach Model: Expanding access to self-care among adolescents and youth in Malawi | Elizabeth Katunga Msukwa, Program Manager – DISC, Family Health Services
- Acceptability and feasibility of DMPA-SC self-injection as a self-care intervention in Liberia: Findings from an implementation pilot | Vekeh L. Donzo, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Clinton Health Access Initiative
- Factors Associated with Uptake and Continuation of DMPA-SC Self-Injection in South Sudan: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study in Rural and Urban Settings | Lual Agok Luka Luka, Research Manager, International Rescue Committee and Dr. Abraham John Thubo, Project Manager, Reproductive Health Association of South Sudan
Moderated by: Ebony Fontenot, Senior Technical Advisor, John Snow, Inc.
Self-care in climate resilience
With climate crises increasingly affecting us all, the conversation on self-care and climate resilience is long overdue. Join us as we explore topics including personal/family emergency preparedness as a form of self-care, self-care solutions to mitigate the risks of extreme heat, and climate resilience resources for frontline health workers and communities.
Moderator: Nicole Loher, Climate Communications Strategist, Researcher & Lecturer, NYU Adjunct, Columbia Climate School, USA
- Rafia Rauf, Project Director, Forum for Women Development and Research/White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan
- Carmen Logie, Canada Research Chair in Global Health Equity & Social Justice with Marginalized Populations, University of Toronto, Canada
- Nile Nair, Ph.D. Candidate and C-Change Ambassador, Harvard-C-Change, Fiji/USA
Organizers: Harvard C-CHANGE, White Ribbon Alliance, Arsht-Rock Resilience Center
Wednesday, Nov 15
8:00 – 9:30 AM EST / 1:00 – 2:30 PM GMT
The self-managed contraception quiz show - Test your knowledge, reflect on your attitudes, and learn about results in two humanitarian settings
In this session, stakeholders in refugee settlements in Uganda and crisis-affected northeast Nigeria will discuss their efforts to assess self-managed contraception knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) amongst health providers, drug shop owners, and pharmacists serving displaced populations. Audience members will refresh their self-managed contraception knowledge and anonymously share their perspectives around key topics during an interactive anonymous quiz/game show, featuring questions from the assessments. The session will conclude with a group brainstorming, to discuss ways participants can apply or are already applying similar strategies in their work to inform self-managed contraception program design, implementation, and service quality.
- Tahirat Omolara Eniola, Research & Innovation Manager, International Rescue Committee, Nigeria
- Brenda Akot, Program Manager, WORUDET, Uganda
- Justus Muhwezi, Program Manager, ACORD Uganda
- Esther Nandutu, Senior Program Officer, International Rescue Committee, Uganda
- Nicholas Otto, Senior Program Officer, International Rescue Committee, Uganda
Organizers: International Rescue Committee, ACORD Uganda, WORUDET (Women and Rural Development Network)
Walking the implementation journey: Resources for effective introduction and scale-up of self-care interventions
Introduction and scale up of self-care interventions requires substantial groundwork to facilitate adoption and integration into health systems. This session will walk participants through the introduction and scale-up journey of the self-injectable contraceptive subcutaneous DMPA (DMPA-SC)—highlighting resources for advocacy and coordination among stakeholders, procurement planning, program design, and financing.
- Bonnie Keith; Senior Advisor, Policy, Advocacy and Learning; PATH; United States
- Wanjiku Manguyu, Regional Advocacy and Policy Advisor, PATH, Kenya
- Nadia Olson, Senior Advisor, JSI, United States
- Monica Mutesa, Access Collaborative Country Coordinator, PATH, Zambia
- Charles Mhango, Director of Clinical Quality and Training, Banja La Mtsogolo/MSI Reproductive Choices, Malawi
Organizers: The Injectables Access Collaborative: PATH, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), inSupply Health, Jhpiego, and JSI
10:00 – 11:30 AM EST / 3:00 – 4:30 PM GMT
Self-care strategies for understanding, regulating, and managing menstrual and post-abortion bleeding
This panel will explore self-care and reproductive health-related bleeding from several intriguing lenses, drawing on research and programmatic findings from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Topics include informational and product needs/solutions for managing bleeding during menstruation and after an abortion; use of misoprostol for menstrual regulation; and tools for counseling clients on menstrual changes associated with contraceptive use.
- The acceptability of reusable menstrual pads from the perspective of menstrual hygiene management in Bolivia | Mina Lee, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNFPA
- MÍREME – A new opportunity for menstrual regulation (Guatemala and Peru) | Diana Santana, Regional Program Director, Planned Parenthood Global
- Preparing for a self-managed abortion: Examining the relationship between expectations and experiences with bleeding during the abortion process (India) | Katie Key, Associate Research Scientist, Ibis Reproductive Health
- Implementation and Scale Up of the NORMAL Counseling Tool for Menstrual Bleeding Changes in Kenya | Marsden Solomon, Independent Consultant and Alice Olawo, Senior Technical Officer, FHI360
Moderated by: Petra Procter, Senior Programme Manager, Concept Foundation
Listen up! Diverse voices comment on how individual self-care preferences and experiences can and should intersect with country policies and programs
This “listen up” session is intended to create a safe space to explore tough questions and to reflect on how current dialogue around family planning self-care corresponds to how individuals understand self-care, what they want from it, and what this means for how to approach policymaking and program implementation.
- Trinity Zan, Deputy Director, Research Utilization, R4S project, United States
- Charles Olaro, Director of Curative Services, Department of Clinical Services, Ministry of Health, Uganda
- Edward Serem, Head, Division of Reproductive and Maternal Health, Ministry of Health, Kenya
- Karen Owende, Ministry of Health, Kenya
Organizer: FHI 360/Research for Scalable Solutions project
Thursday, Nov 16
8:00 – 9:30 AM EST / 1:00 – 2:30 PM GMT
Bonus session! From self-care to collective action: Realizing women’s and young people’s health and well-being
In 2023, more than 2 million women and young people in upwards of thirty countries were asked about their top priorities for their health and well-being. In this culminating session, hear directly from women, young people, and the community organizers responsible for this massive undertaking about how best they can be supported and their solutions for change.
- Sujoy Roy, National Advocacy Officer, Child in Need Institute
- Clarisse Aquino, Project Officer, Coalition of Services of the Elderly
- Ben Abdoul Azize Sawadogo, Programs Manager, SOS Jeunesse et Défis
- Rafia Rauf, National Coordinator/Projects Director, Forum for Women Development and Research
- Patricia Lopez, States and Projects Coordinator, Equidad de Genero
- Amal M., Research Associate, HelpAge
- Asha George, Senior Advisor for Women’s Health, Exemplars in Global Health
- Noha Salem, Global Women’s Health Policy Lead, Organon
- Diana Copeland, Advocacy and Communications Manager, WRA Global
- Merette Khalil, Women’s Health and Well-being Campaign Manager, WRA Global
10:00 – 11:00 AM EST / 3:00 – 4:00 PM GMT
Join the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series closing plenary! We’ll hear insights from SCTG Coalition Steering Committee members, Solome Nakaweesi and Milka Dinev, on the potential and impact of self-care. Participants will reflect on their key learnings and takeaways from the Series and collectively chart the way forward – including looking ahead to the next State of Self-Care Report.
We thank members of the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series Steering committee:
- Adewole Adefalu, John Snow, Inc
- Christy Asala, Independent Consultant
- Kimberly Whipkey, White Ribbon Alliance
- Sandy Garçon, Population Services International/Self-Care Trailblazer Group
- Aïssata Fall, Population Reference Bureau
- Claire Rothschild, Population Services International/Self-Care Trailblazer Group
- Liz Bayer, Independent Consultant
- Sarah Onyango, Population Services International/Self-Care Trailblazer Group
- Andrea Cutherell, Impact for Health
- Gilda Sedgh, Independent Consultant
- Molly Browning, White Ribbon Alliance
- Saumya RamaRao, Independent Consultant
- Babamole Olanrewaju, National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS, Population and Development
- Harjyot Khosa, International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Regional Office
- Nathaly Spilotros, Rescue Committee
- Bonnie Keith, PATH
- Jaitra Sathyandran, Impact for Health
- Pritha Biswas, Pathfinder International
Code of Conduct
We invite you to attend this virtual series in a spirit of curiosity, friendliness, open-mindedness, and respect. During the series, we will not tolerate harassment in any form. You will be asked not to participate. We also ask that you respect confidentiality and privacy requests by session organizers and speakers.