What We Do

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 .

By focusing on three major functions – evidence, communications, and advocacy – supported by a strong coalition and shared learning, the SCTG aims to mobilize and engage target audiences and partners to achieve the following outcomes: 

  • A coordinated, diverse, and influential selfcare movement is mobilized around common goals. 
  • Awareness and support for quality, evidence-based self-care increases among target audiences. 
  • Self-care policies and financing are instituted at national and subnational levels. 
  • Demand and accountability for self-care increases among target communities and constituencies.
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.