Ready to Save Lives: A Preparedness Toolkit for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Emergencies

Manual and Guideline
Originally published



Family Planning 2020 is deeply honored to have facilitated the development of Ready to Save Lives: A Preparedness Toolkit for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Emergencies as part of FP2020’s commitment to fostering collaboration among humanitarian and development actors. At the 2017 London Family Planning Summit, members of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health (IAWG) in Crises insisted that a dialogue on scaling up access to quality family planning services must include consideration of women in humanitarian settings. IAWG called for partnerships between humanitarian and development organizations to ensure the fundamental right to family planning is not lost to people who are displaced by conflict, natural disasters, environmental degradation, and epidemics.

FP2020 heeded this call, under the leadership of Jennifer Schlecht. Jenn devoted her career to ensuring that women and girls in crisis situations have access to the best possible medical care, including family planning and other reproductive health care. She was a vital part of the FP2020 family until her death in 2019. In honor of her mission to extend family planning to displaced people as a part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, FP2020 continues to partner with governments, humanitarian, and development actors around the world to raise the profile of and access to voluntary contraception everywhere. FP2020 exists as a platform for the exchange of ideas and making commitments that change lives for the better.

We are grateful to all the sexual reproductive health and emergency response experts who contributed their expertise to the development of the toolkit. We could not have completed this first version of the toolkit without the financial support of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the invaluable contributions of IPPF,
John Snow, Inc., Women’s Refugee Commission, UNFPA, and IAWG. We remain grateful to CARE for funding the original fellowship that brought Jennifer Schlecht to FP2020, and helped us to build this partnership with humanitarian colleagues.

Beth Schlachter
Executive Director
Family Planning 2020

About This Toolkit

The purpose of the toolkit is to bring together existing learning and guidance as a starting point for stakeholders to begin SRH preparedness work. Within the SRH sector the field of preparedness is relatively new and growing. More collective effort is required to further evaluate the impact of preparedness efforts and push the field forward. This effort is a first attempt at a draft guidance for SRH preparedness, and is intended for field testing. The toolkit recognizes the longstanding work of the field of emergency and disaster risk management, and endeavors to bridge that work with the human rights-oriented and peoplecentered field of sexual and reproductive health.

The work for this toolkit began in early 2019 and wrapped up in June 2020, long after the COVID-19 virus outbreak became a pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted both the importance of preparedness as well as the painful cost of facing hazards unprepared. Looking beyond our current, urgent focus on COVID-19 preparedness and response, this toolkit takes an all-hazards approach.