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.

ANSER Conference 2024 Recommendation Report

Please read the full report of the conference here.


The Conference includes two Scientific Conference Days (7 and 8th of February 2024), focusing on new academic data on sexual and reproductive health, and one Policy Impact Day (9th of February, 2024) bringing together academics, policymakers and other SRHR stakeholders to formulate recommendations for future action.

- Scientific Conference Days 7th and 8th of February 2024 – Please download the programme here.

- Policy Impact Day 9th of February 2024 – Please download the programme here.


Scientific Conference Days, 7th and 8th of February 2024:
Registration is closed, we have reached full capacity. For any urgent questions, please contact

Policy Impact Day, 9th of February 2024:
Registration is closed, we have reached full capacity. For any urgent questions, please contact


Venue  Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th of February (Scientific days)

Enabel - Belgian Development Agency

Rue Haute 147, 1000 Brussels

Venue Friday 9th of February (Political impact day)

Les Ateliers des Tanneurs

Rue des Tanneurs 60A, 1000 Brussels 

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 rights in the context of SRHR. Individuals, particularly women and gender minority groups, 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 autonomy and agency in matters of their own bodies and reproductive choices.
    How can we collectively work to confront and overcome the backlash on 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.

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.

Hotels in Brussels

For registered participants we have some pre-bookings in 3 hotels in Brussels:
For more information, contact



Address: Rue du Cypres 6/10, Brussels, Belgium


Address: rue Joseph Plateau N°2, Brussels, Belgium


Address: Place Charles Rogier 20, Brussels, Belgium


  • 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:

- Visit Flanders

Abstract Review Committee Members

o   Prof Wei Hong Zhang (Ghent University, Belgium)
o   Dr Anna Galle (Ghent University, Belgium)
o   James Munayo (Technical University of Kenya)
o   Dr Ana Gama (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal)
o   Dr Dorina Toci (Institute of Public Health of Albania)
o   Emilie Peeters (Gent University, Belgium)
o   Prof Elin Larsson (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
o   Dr Malachi Ochieng (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
o   Prof. Tammary Esho (Amref International University, Kenya)
o   Dr Dinah Amongin (Makerere University, Uganda)
o   Prof. Bernardo Vega (Cuenca University, Ecuador)
o   Prof. Kaiyan Pei (National Research Institute for Family Planning, China)
o   Dr Giulia Scarpa (ITM, Belgium)
o   Prof. Simukai Shamu (Foundation for Professional Development, South Africa)
o   Gunta Lazdane (RSU, Latvia)
o   Dr Richelle Duque Bjorvang (Uppsala University, Sweden)
o   Prof Lenka Benova (ITM)