findings revealed that male involvement had greatly improved through male action groups, role model and men as change agents. Communities were beginning to realise positive changes in attitudes among men, whereby more men were supporting their spouses to access and utilise reproductive health services
by Julian K, Bagyendera
Men seldom involved in what are perceived to be “women’s” issues
In Uganda, reproductive health issues are often perceived as ‘women’s issues’ including the use of family planning and decision to access antenatal care. A mid-term evaluation was conducted by Provide and Equip (P&E) Ltd for one Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in Uganda in 2016 that struggling with stepping up male involvement in reproductive health issues.
Evidence guides recommendations for activities and interventions for more male involvement
Using knowledge from evaluating other health-related interventions, P&E - a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) consultancy firm based in Uganda -analysed successful strategies from previous evaluated projects in different countries and made recommendations to the CSO for scaling up male involvement in the program. These included the use of male action groups; role model men and involvement of men as change agents to spearhead the campaigns as opposed to women taking the lead. Their recommendations were taken up after the midterm evaluation of the CSO project and were implemented for 3 years.
Post-program evaluations show enhanced support from men
After 3 years, the same CSO contracted P&E to conduct an end of project evaluation. The findings revealed that male involvement had greatly improved through male action groups, role model and men as change agents. Communities were beginning to realise positive changes in attitudes among men, whereby more men were supporting their spouses to access and utilise reproductive health services. This resulted in increased women’s access to health care services since they were now supported by their spouses to access the services. Men being the main decision-makers had a lot of say regarding whether women access health care or not. This is likely to reduce the deaths of women who die while giving birth without the care of trained health workers.
Dr. Julian K, Bagyendera is a Project Management, M&E and Gender Specialist. She is the Executive Director of Provide and Equip (P&E) Ltd, an M&E/Management Consultancy Firm headquartered in Uganda and. CEO of Molian Investments that deals in honey processing, and marketing, crop and animal farming and tree growing