Call for papers

volume 21 number 42 november 2013

We are planning to move submissions to a web-based programme. Details will be available along with updated submission guidelines by end of March 2013.

As the dates set for fulfilment of the ICPD, Beijing and MDG agendas draw closer, the United Nations and its agencies have embarked on a process to define a “new” development agenda. The need for a new agenda is not up for debate, but what should it look like? There is widespread recognition of both the under-fulfilment and the inadequacy of the MDGs in addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Advocates for SRHR have put great effort into fighting for there to be no backsliding on existing agreements, so what will make this new agenda able to achieve real change in people’s SRHR? What will it provide that ICPD, Beijing, the MDGs and human rights treaties have not managed to achieve? How do the financial, food and environmental crises impact on the framing of this new agenda and what it must and can achieve?

Although the discussions around a ‘new’ development agenda are being led primarily by the UN, cross-national initiatives by individual governments, private actors, donors, large NGOs and more than one of these together in hybrid form have all weighed in on these questions. It is clear that new paradigms to achieve SRHR need to be political, public health, financial, technical, law and policy-based. We are seeking papers that analyse one or more of these paradigms and processes.

This journal issue also aims to look critically and politically at existing paradigms for achieving SRHR, using evidence to show how these have worked (or not) and make proposals for new approaches to achieve sexual and reproductive rights.

It will prioritise evidence-based perspectives and commentary on achieving positive change at community and national level.

The following are examples of the issues we would be interested in receiving submissions on:

• Do we really need a new international development agenda?

• Are goals, targets and indicators the only way to measure the success of an international development agenda? Can the fulfillment of human rights ever be captured in this way? What about rights-based forms of assessment?

• When different countries have such different starting points can we subject them to the same benchmarks?

• How can processes steered and governed at international level achieve positive change in the lives of individuals and communities? What are the conflicts between international stewardship, national-level autonomy and national failure to address the issues?

• Taking sides in the war between the public and the private sectors to dominate health care provision. What is an ethical and a rights-based position? What stance should the international development framework take?

• Should efforts to secure a goal on universal health coverage be supported? What about universal access? What about the social determinants of health? And what about the right to health?

• How to address and reduce inequities, an aspect the MDGs failed to address and an aspect of development that has been worsening instead of improving?

• Achieving SRHR in the contexts of continuing population growth, falling fertility rates in almost all countries and lower than replacement fertility in a growing number, and limits to economic growth given environmental limitations and the need for sustainable development. What are the lessons from Rio+20?

• What are the implications for SRHR donors in supporting this new agenda? What role should they play?

• How do we address issues around gender-based violence, sexual abuse and their impact on the realisation of SRHR?

• How do we ensure that SRHR is addressed in its broader context, i.e. the priority it gets in relation to other pressing health issues?

• Ensuring accountability at all levels – global, national, local? What would an accountability framework for this agenda look like?

• Going over the same ground – reasserting the need for comprehensive and integrated services, given renewed efforts to impose verticalisation in funding and service delivery, especially in maternal health and family planning – or is a comprehensive programme for SRHR dead in the water?

• Advocating for all SRHR issues: the “safe” as well as the “sensitive”.

• Issues not previously covered by international agreements on SRHR: how to ensure these, and other emerging areas for attention, are fully addressed. How should sexual rights be reflected in this new agenda? What about sexual and reproductive morbidity?

• What is the role and future for NGOs in all of this?

• How do we ensure a people-centred approach to health? Is this compatible with a disease- or outcome-centred approach?

• How have the numerous consultations influenced the framing of the new agenda? Were they really participatory, was anyone listening to each other, and were the voices of those that need to be heard actually being heard? How can the process involved be improved?

Please share this with anyone who may be interested in submitting a paper.

Please do not submit early through email as previously, as this will only be confusing.