ACHIEVING SDG 3.7: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS IN GHANA

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ABSTRACT

Reproductive health has always been a critical factor for all spheres of development be it social, economic and even cultural. This study highlights the contributions of international development partners, particularly the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in providing reproductive health services in Ghana. Data for the study was from primary sources mainly interviews and secondary sources including journal articles, internet sources, reports, books etc. This study sheds light on the instrumental efforts of the UNFPA in reproductive health programming in Ghana. Key findings indicate that international development partners have been instrumental in increasing awareness of reproductive health and rights issues in Ghana, additionally UNFPA has been a major supplier of contraceptives in the country as well as funded a lot of reproductive health initiatives. The study identifies some challenges encountered in the provision of these services, majority of which is low funding both locally and globally as well as requisite training for health workers. This study recommends that government carefully considers domestic resource mobilization to be able to provide these services considering dwindling donor support as well increased capacity building initiatives for health workers to be able to discharge their duties efficiently. With proper planning and management, reproductive health can be of immense benefits to nations, hence it deserves all the necessary attention.

CHAPTER ONE RESEARCH DESIGN

        Introduction

In 2012, at the United Nations (UN) Rio +20 summit, nations devoted themselves to developing a new set of goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were due expiration in 2015. There have been several interventions by international/global organizations to curb the social, economic, political and health challenges facing the world’s population. One of the examples of the global framework for development was the MDGs. The MDGs was a fifteen-year development agenda made up of seven major goals from the year 1999 to 2015 1. The operation of the MDGs ended in 2015 and was replaced with the sustainable development goals.

The new goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were universally applicable and to build on the MDGs with anticipated targets projected to be achieved by 2030. The predominant objectives of the SDGs as settled upon by states at the Rio +20 summit can be described as poverty eradication, sustainable lifestyles for all and an unchanging and robust planetary life-support system2.

At a UN sustainable development summit held in New York in 2015, the new goals, the SDGs were adopted by the General Assembly. Each goal, with its associated target and indicators to measure its success.3 The SDGs in total are made up of seventeen (17) goals and one hundred and sixty-nine (169) targets.

The SDGs build upon the MDGs to address the “unfinished business” in the MDG era and mainly seek to provide a universal framework for collaboration to tackle the three scopes of sustainable

development highlighting: “the right to development for every country, human rights and social inclusion, convergence of living standards across countries, and shared responsibilities and opportunities.”4

Goal three of the SDGs seeks to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Target seven states that, “by 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes”.