Call for Applications: Mentoring Programme on Rights and Evidence-based Knowledge Creation

Applications closed on 30th June 2020

For any queries regarding the fellowship programme please contact [email protected]

About SRHM

Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters (SRHM), formerly Reproductive Health Matters (RHM), is an organisation with a mission to develop, share and use knowledge and evidence for the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). For more than two decades, RHM/SRHM has generated rights and evidence-based analysis and action in the field of SRHR by connecting evidence with political agendas, policies and programmes, and advancing the needs and rights of the most marginalised. Through its peer-reviewed journal, and “more than a journal” functions, SRHM generates knowledge, disseminates evidence, and advocates for an environment in which universal sexual and reproductive health and rights are realised in laws, policies, programmes and services.

To further its mission, SRHM has undertaken an initiative to create a South Asia (SA) regional hub to advance SRHR rights and generate evidence-based knowledge from five countries in the region, namely, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

What do we mean by rights- and evidence-based knowledge creation?

SRHM believes that human rights principles of non-discrimination, participation, accountability and transparency should underlie not only the content of knowledge created in the field of SRHR, but also the processes involved in generating evidence and knowledge. We believe rights-based knowledge creation is not limited to rights as defined by legal and constitutional frameworks, but also includes the right to participate meaningfully in the process of knowledge creation, and the right of communities who were involved in the knowledge creation process to use the knowledge thus created. Application of rights-based knowledge creation principles into research and programming strives for further realisation of human rights. It includes going beyond traditional methods to create evidence, capturing knowledge through alternate means which are not only qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, but also legal and policy research, feminist approaches, and are multi-disciplinary in nature. It empowers people to address their situation and claim their rights individually and collectively, and develops capacities of the states to protect and fulfil human rights obligations. This has special significance for sexual and reproductive health and rights because full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights remains but an aspiration for millions of women and girls and marginalised communities.

Mentoring programme on rights and evidence-based knowledge creation in sexual and reproductive health

Capacity building is an integral part of SRHM strategies to create knowledge and inspire 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.

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

  1. To offer a programme which will build skills and provide mentoring for rights and evidence -based knowledge creation, including research and analysis on 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 a knowledge resource that is regionally relevant by publishing it in the special SA issue of the SRHM journal ( subject to peer review)

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.

What does the Mentoring programme offer?

The mentoring programme offers researchers, activists, community practitioners and  programme implementers 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 programme will be for a period of 18 months (from July 2020 to December 2021). The participants will be under the guidance of experienced mentors and editors during the duration of the programme. The programme also offers the participants 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, participants 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.

Who can apply?

The mentoring programme seeks applications from early and mid-career researchers, activists, community practitioners, programme implementers who are working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The programme is suitable for those working on SRHR issues in these countries and wishing to have more in-depth knowledge in the use and application of rights-based methodologies and wanting to publish their ideas and research in the South Asia edition of SRHM Journal. Candidates who have research or implementation experience that could be developed into a paper suitable for publication, and wish to strengthen their rights-based analysis and research skills and to advocate for underrepresented SRHR issues in global development conversation are encouraged to apply. Given the focus of the programme, it will not be suitable for those in very early stages of research or implementation on SRHR.

Since the programme will be offered in English, speaking and writing proficiency in English will be preferred. Only candidates living and working in the five South Asian countries mentioned above are eligible to apply and preference will be given to those belonging to and working with marginalised communities.

Candidates working on the priority themes mentioned below are encouraged to apply. Those working on other under-represented SRHR issues can also apply.

  1. Consent, coercion and choice : pleasure and agency within sex, marriage and procreation
  2. Analyses and experiences of promoting social and legal accountability to address power asymmetries across health system
  3. Structural, economic and social determinants of sexual and reproductive health and rights
  4. Sexual and reproductive health issues related to sexual orientations, gender diversity and diversity in sex characteristics
  5. Identity and community politics and how they affect SRHR both positively and negatively: role of community, women’s groups, trade unions, cultural or religious bodies in articulating rights and access to services; forms of sexual control or restrictions on freedom in the name of caste, culture or community/religion, such as honour killings and use of abortion and contraception
  6. Technologies and SRH, such as legal, social and rights dimensions of medical technologies
  7. Ageing: Sexuality and sexual health amongst women and men in older age
  8. SRHR of adolescents and young people
  9. Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health
  10. Comparative analyses that examine historical, social and health system perspectives on SRHR in South Asia, focussed on progress and challenges in areas such as maternal mortality, use of contraception or violence against women, and examining how these influence differences in health status and access to services
  11. Rights-based analyses and evaluations of implementation approaches to SRH service delivery

Provision for mentees

The programme provides a total allowance of USD 1000 per participant to cover field trips, incidentals and other related costs of the participant’s research/implementation project.

Selection Process

Candidates will be shortlisted through a competitive process that includes preliminary applications followed by interviews. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further rounds of skype interviews.

How to Apply

Please fill the application form and send it to [email protected] before 23:59 pm IST 30th June, 2020.

For any query regarding the fellowship programme please contact [email protected]