What We Do

A NEW FRONTIER
IN HEALTHCARE

While the concept of self-care is not new, the World Health Organization’s Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health calls for adoption of national policies to usher in this transformative era in healthcare. Members of the SCTG support countries in bringing self-care interventions to consumers by advancing the evidence, practice, learning, and policy landscape of self-care for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Over the past few years, self-care has advanced as a concept, practice, policy, and particularly during the time of COVID-19, a necessity to meeting the health needs of people across the globe. At a time when health systems are increasingly overstretched trying to meet the demands of COVID-19 and millions of individuals unable to access care, safe and effective self-care practices have the potential to improve the equity and efficiencies of health systems and offer a path for health systems to achieve universal health coverage.

Self-care can fast-track progress toward universal health coverage by broadening access to entry points into the health system, and countries have a critical opportunity to chart a new frontier for self-care interventions. While self-care is neither a replacement for quality primary care, nor a short cut to universal health coverage, self-care can act as an integral and complementary component of overall healthcare systems.

The SCTG relies on the following building blocks for any self-care policy, program, or initiative:

  • Expanding access to devices, diagnostics, drugs, and digital tools that support people to practice self-care more effectively.
  • Promoting health and body literacy and healthy behaviors, including when to seek the formal health system and what to expect from the health system.
  • Strengthening individual agency and rights, enabling people to make and implement healthy decisions for themselves.
  • Encouraging robust grassroots engagement, ensuring self-care interventions are people-centered, community-owned, and acceptable for individual contexts.
  • Fostering strong linkages—such as information and support—–with the health system/providers to effectively facilitate uptake and practice of self-care.

These core principles are reflected in the SCTG’s advocacy and evidence workstreams.

Advocacy

The SCTG aims to build political momentum around a joint vision of self-care, particularly in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and advocate for self-care policies and financing to be institutionalized into policy and practice at the national and subnational levels.

The SCTG’s advocacy efforts focus on affecting policy at national, regional, and global levels. This means engaging with all partners and stakeholders, including related initiatives and networks. Across the breadth of the partnership at country and global levels, we hope to grow the self-care movement and employ a variety of tactics, including stakeholder engagement, in-country consultations, high-level convenings, and sensitization.

Evidence

While self-care is not new, it still requires further evidence to determine how to best use these services in communities across the globe. By strengthening the evidence base for self-care, we can determine the best practices and guidelines for implementing safe, effective self-care and help create policies and environments that support these services. We are committed to helping communities achieve increased access to self-care products, devices, and services.

LEARNING LAB

The SCTG will organize events and webinars, share case studies, and provide a range of opportunities for members to learn from and share experiences and evidence with one other. The Learning Lab will also provide a platform to bridge across working groups. The Learning Lab will be led by the White Ribbon Alliance and facilitated in partnership with the working groups.

NATIONAL SELF-CARE NETWORKS

The SCTG will support the emergence of new National Self-Care Networks, advocating for specific policy changes in their countries. They will also engage grassroots networks and communities in mobilizing demand and social accountability for self-care policies and programs in these countries.

The SCTG National Self-Care Networks will contribute to building a coordinated, diverse, and influential self-care movement that is mobilized around common goals and messaging to advance self-care at the national and subnational levels. These National Self-Care Networks will pursue specific policy and advocacy priorities and, in collaboration with the global SCTG, will develop learning mechanisms around the extent to which national self-care guidelines promote scale-up of quality, affordable self-care for those in need. These National Self-Care Networks will prioritize community sensitization on self-care and social accountability mechanisms to ensure that top-down policy and guidelines changes take root at the individual and community level.

OUR
COMMITMENTS

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Programme of Action

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 is about action-oriented commitments to respond to the Political Declaration adopted at the 52nd session of the UN Commission on Population and Development.  Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is a critical part of that declaration. By 2030, we commit to igniting and building a comprehensive, evidence-based self-care agenda and movement. 

Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition

The Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions are the world’s roadmap for gender equality. These innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships are focused on the most critical areas in gender equality to achieve concrete change for women and girls worldwide. The Self-Care Trailblazer Group is a proud Commitment Maker for the Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Action Coalition.

Who We Are

About Us

Evidence

While self-care is not new, it still requires further evidence to determine how to best use these services in communities across the globe. By strengthening the evidence base for self-care, we can determine the best practices and guidelines for implementing safe, effective self-care and help create policies and environments that support these services. We are committed to helping communities achieve increased access to self-care products, devices and services. The Evidence and Learning Working Group works to coordinate and broker knowledge generated and accumulated across partners and initiatives in pursuit of the SCTG’s overall objectives.

The Evidence and Learning Working Group seeks to leverage and elevate the evidence and knowledge generating activities of partners and stakeholders as well as to understand the self-care evidence needs and priorities of countries. We aim to produce evidence and learning resources that are global goods and resources that reflect and/or can be used or adapted within a country context to support an evidence-based self-care movement.

Advocacy

The SCTG aims to build political momentum around a joint vision of self-care, particularly in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and advocate for its institutionalization into policy and practice. 

The SCTG’s advocacy efforts focus on affecting policy at national, regional and global levels. This means engaging with all partners and stakeholders, including related initiatives and networks. Across the breadth of the partnership at country and global levels, we hope to grow the self-care movement and employ a variety of tactics including stakeholder engagement, in-country consultations, high-level convenings and sensitization.

As a multi-stakeholder partnership, the SCTG can add value by convening partners to strengthen common messaging and coordinate strategies and activities to propel this movement forward. It can help bring together more champions, technical partners and experts; bridge advocacy efforts between the country and global levels; and leverage planned processes and events as appropriate.