South Asia Regional Hub

South Asia Regional Hub

SRHM has undertaken an initiative to create a South Asia regional hub to advance SRHR rights and generate evidence-based knowledge from five countries namely; India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The hub aims to bring together SRHR organisations, practitioners, researchers, academics and advocates, government champions, youth leaders and other key stakeholders who are committed to progressive social and political changes on SRHR issues of the region. Through ongoing dialogues, networking meetings, a special journal issue and capacity building initiatives, the project will prioritize regional perspectives and needs of SRHR in partnership with selected group of stakeholders to strengthen the local agenda.

We are very thankful for the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation India for this initiative.

The team

Steering Committee Members

  • Sundari Ravindran, Principal Visiting Fellow, United Nations University International Institute for Global Health
  • Sabina Faiz Rashid, Dean and Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University
  • Sapna Desai, Public Health Specialist, Trustee of SRHM
  • Eszter Kismodi, Chief Executive, SRHM

We are very pleased to closely collaborate with BRAC university on this initiative, with CREA on the translation of the journal issue as well as other institutions, organisations and experts in the region.

SRHM’s activities in this area are divided into KNOWLEDGEINFLUENCE and CAPACITY-BUILDING.


Since 1993, SRHM has published over 150 articles on South Asia, along with a Hindi language edition since 2005. The inaugural South Asia Journal Issue will provide a space for researchers, policymakers, implementers, advocates and activists working on SRHR to articulate right-based analyses on key issues within and across countries. The journal will strive to identify regional threads to build and strengthen local agendas for evidence generation and action. Most importantly, this issue provides a space to examine challenges and progress with a regional, multidisciplinary lens, to strengthen the community of practitioners, advocates and researchers committed to improving SRHR in South Asia.

Guest editors

  • Sundari Ravindran, Principal Visiting Fellow, United Nations University
  • Sapna Desai, Public Health Specialist, Trustee of SRHM



This report summarises the research papers published by Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters which are focused within any of the following countries: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan. 58% of all published research has focused on India, followed by Bangladesh and Nepal. Most research publications have focused on Abortion (21%), Health Systems, Policy and access
(16%) and Maternal Health (15%). The report also provides a breakdown of country specific coverage for each key topic.
Read the report


South Asia Regional Edition on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
More details coming soon.


SRHM South Asia Regional Hub Strategy Meeting, March 2020

SRHM launched its first regional initiative in South Asia and hosted a Strategy Meeting on 5-6 March, 2020 in New Delhi, India. The strategy meeting brought together SRHR organisations, practitioners, researchers, academics and advocates, government champions, youth leaders and other key stakeholders who are committed to progressive social and political changes on SRHR issues, especially from India and some prominent experts from Bangladesh. Further dialogues to take the freshly developed regional strategy forward are planned to be held in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Rights-based research and evidence-based knowledge creation initiative

In partnership with reputable research/academic institutions and experts, to enhance the “ecosystem of rights and evidence”, the initiative will ensure that rights-based research is conducted, knowledge is developed, and practices are influenced by evidence and the principles of non-discrimination, autonomy, choice, participation, accountability and other human rights principles. This initiative aims to bring principles of rights- and evidence-based research and knowledge creation into focus and offer a body of literature for further understanding of the particular aspects of rights- and evidence-based research and knowledge creation. It plans to achieve it through a series of methodology consultations. The first in the series will be conducted online with 15-20 experts in June 2020 followed by a global consultation with larger audience in September 2020. An in-person consultation will be followed by topic-specific consultations (e.g. technology, choice, etc.)

Thematic Meetings

Thematic meetings will be organized on pressing SRHR issues in order to fill rights- and evidence-based knowledge gaps and provide a platform for analytical thinking. These will connect research to policy, programming, service delivery and advocacy and will disseminate and discuss information from key SRHR project outcomes. The themes of the meetings will be chosen strategically from a wide array of topics including contraception, consent and choice, self-use, community accountability, continuum of care to name a few ; the multifaceted nature of technology and innovation in the area of SRHR; self- initiated technologies dignity and informed consent; multi- faced accountability perspectives of community health worker’s programmes, and so on.


Setting up an SRHM South Asia Regional Hub and regional journal edition: Advancing rights and evidence-based knowledge creation locally 

Capacity building

Capacity building is an integral part of the SRHM strategy to create knowledge and inspire new rights -based thinking in the field of SRHR. SRHM builds the capacity of new generations of researchers, policy makers, service providers and advocates from around the world, both in the global south and the global north,  contributing to a stronger and more diverse cadre of researchers, programme and policy makers, service delivery providers and advocates who publish, disseminate and use their rights- and evidence-based knowledge.

SRHM plans to focus on building capacities of a diverse cadre of those working in the field of SRHR in the region. With an objective to create regional, national and community ownership in knowledge creation, SRHM plans to host a fellowship/mentoring programme in the region with the following objectives:

  1. To offer a programme which will build skills and provide mentoring for evidence and rights-based knowledge creation, including research and analysis in regionally relevant issues;
  2. To bring science, human rights and evidence-based practice, as well as multidisciplinary analyses to identifying SRHR problems and solutions in the SA region (with global relevance);
  3. To connect local, national, regional, and global knowledge generation processes for influence and advocacy, and amplify diverse voices within such processes; and
  4. To contribute to knowledge generation aimed to be published in the SRHM Journal


Rights and Evidence-based Knowledge Creation Mentoring Programme

The mentoring programme offers those working on SRHR from across the SA region training, support and mentoring on analysis, research and writing, with a rights- and evidence-based perspective. The selected candidates /fellows will be under the guidance of experienced mentors and editors during the duration of the fellowship. The programme also offers fellows an opportunity to publish their research in the SA journal edition of SRHM (subject to peer review and editorial approvals). As part of the programme, fellows will be provided with several opportunities towards building their capacities on rights and evidence-based knowledge creation including through theme-based and methodology webinars and workshops on analysis and writing.

The first phase of the programme (July 2020 to Dec 2021) will focus on five countries in the region – India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

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