The access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) including safe abortion comprises various factors and actors cutting across the standalone health lens. These actors and factors based on the principle of human rights from the onset of programs, policies, and projects formulate a sustainable ecosystem. The introduction of the human rights-based approach to health aims to realize the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (right to health) and other health-related human rights through the interrelated and essential elements of availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality (AAAQ). The Constitution of Nepal (Article 38) guarantees the right-based approach for SRHR and a violence-free society. The Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health (SMRH) Act (2018) and SMRH Regulations 2020 have been enacted to ensure that women and girls can exercise these rights.
To achieve balance and ensure a committed, responsive system for abortion care, Ipas is implementing a project called ‘Strengthening the Abortion Ecosystem in Nepal’ from 2020-2021 in line with Ipas’ sustainable ecosystem framework which includes eight key programming components as well as four cross-cutting areas for action and evaluation. Intertwined with the programming components are the existential gender and social norms which might act either as restraining or driving forces. In addition to the prevalent norms, there are ‘other’ factors or actors which might hinder the efforts of the project. It is important to document and understand/plan the impact of all these forces which are interlinked and have a bearing on the smooth implementation of programmatic components.
In this regard, the Force Filed analysis (FFA; Kurt Lewin) and the Social Norms Analysis Plot framework (SNAP; Care USA) will be adapted to explore and assess harmful social norms/stigma and other forces, and then understand and plan (target actors or factors) as per the project theory of change.