Previous meetings

2020 Online ANSER General Assembly (November 24)

2021 marks the end of the initial funding round of the Academic Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy (ANSER). In five years’ time we have grown from a group of 16 academic institutions to 38 member institutions, including 32 full members from academic institutions and 6 associated members from non-profit organisations.

These first years have helped to build our network and get to know each other, but clearly also showed the impact coordinated international research networks can have on increasing knowledge about a certain topic. Over the last years, we published scientific articles and implemented projects together; we organised Doctoral Schools and Summer Schools for Master students and many online courses, we engaged with policy makers to build an evidence for SRHR policies, not to forget all the conferences where ANSER was a strong voice around the table. It is time to look back on 2020 and define our impact as a network since the launch in 2016.
But it’s also the moment to look to the future, learn from our experience to strengthen the network even more and strategize ourselves. Think about innovating approaches, structure and possible funding opportunities that could help boost our work.

2019 ANSER Week (November 25th and 26th, 2019)

2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Develop-ment (ICPD, Cairo 1994), where 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action recognising that repro-ductive health and rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. Significant results have been achieved since, but not everyone has benefited equally from this progress. From 12-14 November 2019, ICPD celebrated its birthday during the Nairobi Summit. The conference mobilized political will and financial commitments to finally and fully implement the ICPD Programme of Action, focusing on: achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
During this ANSER week we took a closer look at all the commitments made by governments, civil society and donors at the Nairobi Summit and discussed how implementation can be accelerated. What spe-cific role can academics have in using evidence to overcome policy and implementation challenges of the ICPD agenda? How can policy makers and researchers work more closely together to accelerate progress and address the barriers faced? What priorities should we as broader SRHR stakeholders focus on in the coming years to achieve reproductive health and rights for all?

2018 ANSER conference “Multidisciplinary perspectives on future SRHR priorities”

Sexual and reproductive health and rights is a broad field of work that covers a large number of sectors. SRHR is high on the agenda of many policy makers, numerous researchers work on the topic, companies are developing new products and non-governmental and international organisations are implementing projects and programmes. While all stakeholders approach SRHR from a different angle, bringing them together may mutually reinforce their work and contribute to improving SRHR globally. Through roundtables and interactive sessions, the purpose of this day is to come up with ideas and recommendations for multi-sectorial policy-oriented R&D proposals and advocacy strategies to promote SRHR.

The conference report can be found here.


Workshop and seminar 'Sexual harassment in the Academy'

On Tuesday May 2nd 2017, the Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry (CEVI), the Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics (INSEP), Ghent University and ANSER jointly organize a one-day workshop on Sexual Harassment in the Academy in Het Pand.

This one-day workshop sought to outline the problem, look at some contemporary policy and practice responses and then explore some strategies for prevention and change.  The workshop resulted in a two day seminar on 19-20 February 2018 in Ghent: Managing, Researching, and Enabling Respectful Sexual Conduct in Higher Education, organised by the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics (INSEP) and Ghent University - ANSER.

2017 ANSER conference “Breaking the glass wall between science and policy”

The realms of science and policy keep on claiming that they need each other badly, and the references from one to the other are numerous. However, scientists tend to be frustrated because their recommendations are often neglected and are not implemented, and policy makers complain that scientists seldom come up with clear answers to policy questions and that the main conclusion of far too many research projects is that ‘further research (and money) is needed’. Both worlds seem to be separated by a glass wall: they can look at each other but they don’t hear what is said at the other side and they seldom team up to solve societal problems. We want to open the floor to the aspirations and frustrations of both sides, present some good practices of cooperation between scientists and policy makers, and explore ways to make the glass wall less thick.


Presentations of the conference can be found here.


Collaboration with UNFPA

Negotiations between ANSER and the SRHR advisor of UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia led to plans for trainings for national policy makers in the field of indicators and monitoring systems, and for the evaluations of national strategies and policies. Follow-up talks with the aim to come to concrete agreements will take place in the course of 2017. 

Review of the national SRH strategy of Moldova

On request of the World Health Organization, ANSER reviewed the draft national SRH strategy of the Republic of Moldova. A number of ANSER members worked together to evaluate the strategy in terms of consistency and coherence, scientific underpinning and alignment with the general SRHR strategy of the WHO Euro Region. The report was submitted in April 2017.

Joint proposal of Mbarara University and Ludwig Maximilians accepted on SRH needs of refugee adolescent girls in Uganda

Two ANSER members - Elizabeth Kemigisha from Mbarara University and Olena Ivanova from Ludwig Maximilians University - who had met during the ANSER meeting in December 2016 in Ghent - jointly wrote a proposal that was accepted for external funding.  The title of the project is 'A situation analysis of sexual and reproductive health needs and access to contraception among refugee adolescent girls in Uganda'.

Summer School 'Reproductive Health and Rights'

A second ‘Summer School Reproductive Health and Rights’, organised by BEMSA and ANSER, took place in Gent from with the cooperation of many renown lecturers. Thirteen students from across the world participated. The multicultural mix of students from very diverse backgrounds contributed to the educational quality of the course.

Specialised course on 24-28 April 2017

Specialised course 2017

On 24-28 April 2017 Ghent University together with Hasselt University and Karolinska Institute organised a specialised course on Global Sexual Reproductive Health within the context of the Doctoral Schools and the International Thematic Network ANSER.  Courses were hosted simultaneously in Stockholm (Sweden) and Ghent (Belgium), using live streaming.  


Staff exchanges

The ongoing ANSER mobility programme facilitates staff exchanges between member institutions, resulting in joint proposal writing, hands-on work on publications, course modules and other ANSER output.

Online course

The ANSER network is developing an online module on SRHR policy that will be freely available on the internet. Several similar modules exist already, but our course will distinguish itself through its bottom-up, international, concerted approach specifically targeting policy-makers. Each module will be developed jointly by members of the consortium who are subject matter experts. Theoretical content will be complemented by problem-solving scenarios and case studies from different countries and contexts.

Short training course

In line with the development of the online module, ANSER will organize an annual short course on SRHR policy where participants involved in policy-making or advocacy (e.g. government, intergovernmental, civil society organizations) from around the world will get classes on a wide range of SRHR aspects. These classes will be highly interactive and participants will be asked to present and discuss cases they are or were confronted with. Within the online module and annual short course, we will include a focus on what policy makers can do to enhance SRHR in their countries (e.g. by organizing parliamentary hearings) and on what civil organizations can do to influence policies (e.g. lobbying techniques).


2016 ANSER kick-off conference

During this conference the ANSER network was officially launched. The focus was specifically on stressing the importance of SRHR and the ANSER network and have new members express their expectations towards the network.

 The meeting report and videos of the presentations can be found here.