ANSER Conference 2024

conference banner 2024

The ANSER conference ’Catalysing Change: Enhancing Evidence-Based Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Policies in Challenging Times’ aims to enhance collaboration between policymakers, academics and programmatic experts to advance SRHR knowledge & interventions, shape policies and drive societal change.
Thirty years ago, the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo marked a pivotal moment in global efforts to address sexual and reproductive health and rights. Celebrating its anniversary, it is essential to reflect on the progress made, identify remaining barriers, and chart a path forward to achieve the ICPD agenda.
Additionally, as Belgium assumes the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2024 and the European elections are coming up in June 2024, it grants a substantial platform to shape EU policy decisions on SRHR issues.

Aim of the conference

Capitalizing on this momentum, this conference will bring together renowned researchers, policymakers, advocates, and program implementers from around the world to examine the multifaceted dimensions needed to re-energize the SRHR agenda.
During the Scientific Conference days insightful keynote speeches, presentations, and interactive panel discussions will be organized to set the scene, share innovative ideas and provide insights for future research and policy-making. In addition, workshops will be given to teach new skills to the participants.
The Policy Impact Conference Day unites academics, policymakers, and civil society to cultivate future collaborations. By facilitating dialogue and shared insights, the event aims to foster dialogue, exchange knowledge and inspire collective action towards increased evidence-based policy-making in SRHR.

Thematic focus

The conference seeks to advance knowledge and interventions in SRHR while also influencing policies and driving transformative change. It specifically focuses on areas that are entering the political debate but lacks sufficient data, as well as topics that require more political attention. Moreover, it addresses subjects that we anticipate will gain prominence on the political agenda in the near future, or proposes solutions for the concerns raised.

The conference focuses on the following critical issues representing persisting challenges:

  1. Breaking Barriers: Achieving Equitable Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Medicines within Universal Health Coverage
    Many individuals still experience obstacles to accessing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and commodities or exercising their rights. These disparities in health care can take many forms, often based on the geographical, economic, social and cultural background of the individual.
    Can a comprehensive universal health coverage system that encompasses a wide range of SRHR needs, such as family planning, maternal healthcare, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, gender-based violence support, etc, break down the barriers and create a society where everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling sexual and reproductive life?
  2. Sustainable Futures: Exploring the Intersections of Climate and Sexual and Reproductive Health
    There is a growing need to address the interrelation between climate change and sexual and reproductive health if we want to promote sustainable development and improve overall human health and well-being. Climate change can have detrimental effects on sexual and reproductive health and rights: extreme weather events disrupt health facilities, limit access to reproductive health services and supplies, and increase the vulnerability of forcibly displaced people to sexual violence and harmful practices. A crucial task involves developing policies and programmes that anticipate the consequences of recurring climate change-induced emergencies, while also recognizing that sexual and reproductive health services and commodities can serve to enhance people's resilience in the face of environmental changes impacting their livelihoods.
    How can we develop comprehensive and effective strategies that address both the challenges of climate change and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights? And what is the place of family planning within our responses?
  3. Innovating for Impact: Unlocking the Potential of Technology in Sexual and Reproductive Health
    In today's digital era, technology has the potential to revolutionize SRH by overcoming barriers such as geographical distance, social stigma, and limited resources. From mobile applications that inform on contraception and pregnancy tracking to telemedicine platforms that enable remote consultations with healthcare professionals, technology offers innovative solutions to expand the reach of SRH services. Advancements in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and digital health systems can also enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of SRH programs. However, it is crucial to ensure that these technological innovations are accessible, inclusive, and privacy-sensitive, addressing the specific needs and concerns of diverse populations.
    How can we leverage technology effectively and ethically to unlock its full potential in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for individuals worldwide?
  4. Defending Dignity: Upholding Rights in Challenging Times for Sexual and Reproductive Health
    There is a concerning trend of backlash against women's rights in the context of SRHR. Individuals, particularly women, face various challenges and opposition in accessing and exercising their sexual and reproductive health rights. There is a critical need to protect and defend the dignity of individuals by combating regressive attitudes, discriminatory practices, and restrictive policies that impede women's autonomy and agency in matters of their own bodies and reproductive choices.
    How can we collectively work to confront and overcome the backlash on women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, ensuring that every individual can exercise their rights, make informed choices, and lead lives with dignity and autonomy?
    Together, we can break barriers, build futures, and create better access to SRHR for all.

Call for abstracts

Submitting an abstract to ANSER allows you to present your work to a diverse audience of policymakers, academics, NGO representatives and health professionals and to emphasize achievements and remaining gaps in SRHR to shape the ICPD+30 agenda. The selection of abstracts will be done by a review committee of experts.

Abstracts should be submitted by the 15th of October 2023.

Button call for abstracts


The ANSER conference is scheduled to span three days from the 7th until the 9th of February 2024. The first two days will focus on scientific aspects, while the third day will centre on formulating political recommendations.

Scientific Conference 7 & 8 February:
The programme of the Scientific Conference will be defined by the accepted abstracts submitted through the Call for Abstracts, including:

- Four blocks of sessions covering each of the four thematic themes.

- Each thematic block will contain a variety of sessions organised in parallel, including keynote speeches, abstract presentations, pitches, panel discussions and workshops.

- For each of the thematic blocks an expert will be appointed to collect all the research presented and the calls to action made, to be presented during the Policy Impact Day.

During both of the Scientific Conference days, a poster fair will be organised where authors will briefly present their posters and answer questions from the audience.
Policy Impact Conference 9 February:

- Host: The chair of the Belgian Parliamentary Group for the 2024 agenda (TBC) will welcome the participants and moderate the overall agenda.

- Four interactive sessions, one for each thematic stream, will be organised. Each panel or session should include speakers from different backgrounds with at least one policymaker and one academic expert, complemented by experts from civil society, health professionals, etc. Each panel starts with a keynote speaker stating the academic discussions that happened the day before. Each session can be organised in a separate way, as preferred by the lead and speakers.

Youth involvement

The ANSER Master Student Network & the ANSER PhD Network will ensure the voice of students and young professionals is adequately represented in the conference. They will jointly organise sessions and workshops, based on young people’s needs and interests. We are exploring the possibility of setting up a mentoring system during the conference and a meet and greet with MPs on the third day of the conference.

Entrance fee

 Scientific days (7 & 8 February 2024)

  • Students: €100
  • ANSER members:

- Early birds (Before 31/10/2023): €150
- Regular registration (Between 1/11/2023 and 31/12/2023): €200
- Late registration (After 1/1/2024): €250

  • Non-ANSER members:

- Early birds (Before 31/10/2023): €200
- Regular registration (Between 1/11/2023 and 31/12/2023): €250
- Late registration (After 1/1/2024): €300

Policy Impact Conference Day (9 February 2024)
Free entrance but registration required.

Registration will open in September 2023.


  • Co-organisers:

- International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), Ghent University
- Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Antwerp
- Be-cause health, Belgian Platform for International Health

  • Supporting partners:

- European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF)
- Visit Flanders