- - -
Past Programmes

All Programmes

Youth Voices, Youth Choices youth group
programme

| 01 June 2023

Youth Voices, Youth Choices

Young people and groups with vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans face a great many barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they bore the brunt of additional obstacles to accessing information, support and care. COVID-19 demonstrated how fragile national health systems are and highlighted countries’ unpreparedness to deal with health emergencies. But it also stimulated creativity by civil society and other actors to counter these barriers, with digital outreach and support playing an expanding, crucial role. Youth Voices, Youth Choices is a project dedicated to learning from the COVID-19 experience in the Western Balkans to ensure sexual and reproductive health services, information and education become more accessible and youth-friendly in the long term, especially for marginalised groups. Running from 2020 until 2023, it brings together IPPF members and partners in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo, supported by IPPF EN’s Regional Office. Project partners have conducted research into the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRH needs and access to services and information, and the role of integrated digital services, with a focus on communities living in remote areas and unfavourable social conditions. They are sharing good practices and empowering young people as campaigners and advocates using digital and offline education tools. And working in multi-stakeholder partnerships, they are developing policy recommendations to support advocacy and youth-led campaigns for stronger health systems and increased access to care, in and beyond emergency situations. In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations based on our research into how the pandemic affected young people. All partners also created national recommendations. Collectively, we built upon these through regional and national advocacy campaigns and actions. Check out our YVYC resources page! Take a look at our series of interviews carried out by young people with their peers on how COVID affected their access to SRHR information, education and care, and their vision for the future. RESEARCH REPORT  As a basis for this work, in 2021 and early 2022, we conducted a study to provide us with a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRHR. The data was published in a series of reports presenting the findings of the study, carried out by and among youth in five Balkan countries. The reports, available for download below, document young people’s SRH needs and experiences and the perspectives of healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders on these needs. They also capture the latter’s needs as they deliver services, information and education to young people, building on their experience of COVID-19. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations that call on decision-makers to listen to young people and uphold their SRHR as they build back health and social systems in the wake of the pandemic. Presented at the European Parliament on 26 October by youth advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matić, the recommendations were developed by a group of specialists who came together to develop a blueprint for designing systems that prioritise access to youth-friendly SRH care, and better support of young people’s health and well-being. The policy recommendations are available for download below. The policy recommendations were used to set advocacy priorities for further actions and campaigning. YOUTH VOICES Young people are at the heart of this work: as researchers, as members of the expert groups that developed policy recommendations, and as advocates and campaigners for change. They were also in the lead at the 'Healthy Youth – Healthy Future' multi-stakeholder meeting in Tirana in spring 2023, where youth representatives and staff from our partner organisations came together with decision-makers and experts from the field - see Tirana joint declaration on protecting the health and social wellbeing of young people. The young participants presented advocacy campaigns carried out at regional and national levels, and shared their needs and experiences at an event held in the Albanian parliament. For more information about this work, please contact us at: [email protected]           This work is funded by MSD for Mothers.

Youth Voices, Youth Choices youth group
programme

| 01 June 2023

Youth Voices, Youth Choices

Young people and groups with vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans face a great many barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they bore the brunt of additional obstacles to accessing information, support and care. COVID-19 demonstrated how fragile national health systems are and highlighted countries’ unpreparedness to deal with health emergencies. But it also stimulated creativity by civil society and other actors to counter these barriers, with digital outreach and support playing an expanding, crucial role. Youth Voices, Youth Choices is a project dedicated to learning from the COVID-19 experience in the Western Balkans to ensure sexual and reproductive health services, information and education become more accessible and youth-friendly in the long term, especially for marginalised groups. Running from 2020 until 2023, it brings together IPPF members and partners in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo, supported by IPPF EN’s Regional Office. Project partners have conducted research into the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRH needs and access to services and information, and the role of integrated digital services, with a focus on communities living in remote areas and unfavourable social conditions. They are sharing good practices and empowering young people as campaigners and advocates using digital and offline education tools. And working in multi-stakeholder partnerships, they are developing policy recommendations to support advocacy and youth-led campaigns for stronger health systems and increased access to care, in and beyond emergency situations. In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations based on our research into how the pandemic affected young people. All partners also created national recommendations. Collectively, we built upon these through regional and national advocacy campaigns and actions. Check out our YVYC resources page! Take a look at our series of interviews carried out by young people with their peers on how COVID affected their access to SRHR information, education and care, and their vision for the future. RESEARCH REPORT  As a basis for this work, in 2021 and early 2022, we conducted a study to provide us with a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRHR. The data was published in a series of reports presenting the findings of the study, carried out by and among youth in five Balkan countries. The reports, available for download below, document young people’s SRH needs and experiences and the perspectives of healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders on these needs. They also capture the latter’s needs as they deliver services, information and education to young people, building on their experience of COVID-19. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations that call on decision-makers to listen to young people and uphold their SRHR as they build back health and social systems in the wake of the pandemic. Presented at the European Parliament on 26 October by youth advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matić, the recommendations were developed by a group of specialists who came together to develop a blueprint for designing systems that prioritise access to youth-friendly SRH care, and better support of young people’s health and well-being. The policy recommendations are available for download below. The policy recommendations were used to set advocacy priorities for further actions and campaigning. YOUTH VOICES Young people are at the heart of this work: as researchers, as members of the expert groups that developed policy recommendations, and as advocates and campaigners for change. They were also in the lead at the 'Healthy Youth – Healthy Future' multi-stakeholder meeting in Tirana in spring 2023, where youth representatives and staff from our partner organisations came together with decision-makers and experts from the field - see Tirana joint declaration on protecting the health and social wellbeing of young people. The young participants presented advocacy campaigns carried out at regional and national levels, and shared their needs and experiences at an event held in the Albanian parliament. For more information about this work, please contact us at: [email protected]           This work is funded by MSD for Mothers.

Image gender equality young people
programme

| 05 May 2022

Protecting EU values and rights

Gender inequality and harmful gender norms remain widespread in the EU. While sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment, their attainment varies greatly from country to country. Women and girls, particularly those marginalised by systemic oppression, face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education, which violates their human rights and hinders progress towards gender equality. Discourse from anti-rights movements continues to undermine the significant progress achieved in safeguarding SRHR and threatens many of the rights and values that the EU aims to protect. It is in this context that IPPF EN, together with its Member Associations and partners, is working to progress towards a more gender equal world where people in all their diversity are released from harmful gender norms and fully empowered to make decisions over their lives and bodies.  We are working to strengthen support in the EU institutions and Member States for gender equality and women’s rights by: Ensuring that policy and decision makers at all levels (EU, national and local) are creating progressive legislative and policy frameworks that protect and advance gender equality and women’s rights, including SRHR, within the EU; Educating and empowering young people - as a new generation of EU citizens - to become leaders and drivers of the long-term change process, rooted in societal norms and behaviours, that advances gender equality, eliminates harmful stereotypes and intersectional discrimination, and prevents SGBV; Increasing engagement and capacity of civil society actors to act in a strategic and coordinated manner when promoting gender equality and women’s rights; and Strengthening the technical and organisational capacity of our Member Associations and partners to design, implement and sustain intersectional, gender transformative initiatives.  2023 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS In 2023, under the CERV programme, we collaborated with 24 EU-based IPPF Member Associations (MAs) and collaborative partners (CPs). Our achievements in 2023 include: Supporting civil society movements by creating spaces for our MAs, CPs and other stakeholders to exchange expertise, learn from each other's experiences, engage in closer dialogue, build stronger partnerships, engage in advocacy activities and strategize more effectively and proactively against anti-rights movements.  “SRHR Learning and Action Days”: A four-day programme of learning, sharing and strategising events was organised in October in Sofia, Bulgaria, bringing together over 150 SRHR activists and advocates from more than 30 countries. Participants included civil society organisations, activists driving change in hostile environments, young volunteers and community actors bringing their expertise and lived experience. Mobilising EU decision-makers on gender equality issues, and remaining an expert source of information to them, thereby ensuring important progress in key EU processes. Strengthening the capacity of our national members and partners to advance gender equality at the EU level.   Empowering more young people to build vital life skills by increasing the capacity of our national members and partners to deliver transformative sexuality and relationships education (SRE) that challenges gender inequality.  Contributing to evidence of the protective role played by gender transformative SRE in the fight against gender-based violence, by conducting the first phase of a 4-year study into its impact on attitudes and knowledge among young people, parents and teachers in Portugal.  Strengthening our network's capacity to implement gender transformative approaches, using 'gender assessments' as an internal tool to help us further challenge gender inequality in our programming, policies and language.  You can read our Annual Report 2023 here.     This work is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme which aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The programme will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. 2024 SUB-GRANTS As part of this work, in 2024 IPPF EN is funding the following projects by national partner organisations working to advance SRHR and gender equality: 

Image gender equality young people
programme

| 05 May 2022

Protecting EU values and rights

Gender inequality and harmful gender norms remain widespread in the EU. While sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment, their attainment varies greatly from country to country. Women and girls, particularly those marginalised by systemic oppression, face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education, which violates their human rights and hinders progress towards gender equality. Discourse from anti-rights movements continues to undermine the significant progress achieved in safeguarding SRHR and threatens many of the rights and values that the EU aims to protect. It is in this context that IPPF EN, together with its Member Associations and partners, is working to progress towards a more gender equal world where people in all their diversity are released from harmful gender norms and fully empowered to make decisions over their lives and bodies.  We are working to strengthen support in the EU institutions and Member States for gender equality and women’s rights by: Ensuring that policy and decision makers at all levels (EU, national and local) are creating progressive legislative and policy frameworks that protect and advance gender equality and women’s rights, including SRHR, within the EU; Educating and empowering young people - as a new generation of EU citizens - to become leaders and drivers of the long-term change process, rooted in societal norms and behaviours, that advances gender equality, eliminates harmful stereotypes and intersectional discrimination, and prevents SGBV; Increasing engagement and capacity of civil society actors to act in a strategic and coordinated manner when promoting gender equality and women’s rights; and Strengthening the technical and organisational capacity of our Member Associations and partners to design, implement and sustain intersectional, gender transformative initiatives.  2023 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS In 2023, under the CERV programme, we collaborated with 24 EU-based IPPF Member Associations (MAs) and collaborative partners (CPs). Our achievements in 2023 include: Supporting civil society movements by creating spaces for our MAs, CPs and other stakeholders to exchange expertise, learn from each other's experiences, engage in closer dialogue, build stronger partnerships, engage in advocacy activities and strategize more effectively and proactively against anti-rights movements.  “SRHR Learning and Action Days”: A four-day programme of learning, sharing and strategising events was organised in October in Sofia, Bulgaria, bringing together over 150 SRHR activists and advocates from more than 30 countries. Participants included civil society organisations, activists driving change in hostile environments, young volunteers and community actors bringing their expertise and lived experience. Mobilising EU decision-makers on gender equality issues, and remaining an expert source of information to them, thereby ensuring important progress in key EU processes. Strengthening the capacity of our national members and partners to advance gender equality at the EU level.   Empowering more young people to build vital life skills by increasing the capacity of our national members and partners to deliver transformative sexuality and relationships education (SRE) that challenges gender inequality.  Contributing to evidence of the protective role played by gender transformative SRE in the fight against gender-based violence, by conducting the first phase of a 4-year study into its impact on attitudes and knowledge among young people, parents and teachers in Portugal.  Strengthening our network's capacity to implement gender transformative approaches, using 'gender assessments' as an internal tool to help us further challenge gender inequality in our programming, policies and language.  You can read our Annual Report 2023 here.     This work is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme which aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The programme will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. 2024 SUB-GRANTS As part of this work, in 2024 IPPF EN is funding the following projects by national partner organisations working to advance SRHR and gender equality: 

IPPF EN staff Poland protest 2021
programme

| 14 January 2022

Movement Accelerator Programme

IPPF EN established its Movement Accelerator Programme (MAP) in 2019 in response to the proliferation of attacks across Europe and Central Asia over many years on gender, equality and women’s rights. The EN MAP focuses on strengthening the strategic communication and mobilisation capacities of organisations and social movements in several European countries. Our goal is to work with and learn from diverse groups of actors, and to support with the knowledge-sharing, solidarity and resourcing needed to help fight back against attempts to control women’s bodies, and to accelerate social and political change. The activities that we carry out or support through the EN MAP include research into values and attitudes to provide a basis for strategic communication; development, testing and employment of new and powerful context-specific narratives and strategies; monitoring of harmful anti-rights discourses; and support of grassroots social movements, including capacity sharing and provision of grants for strategic initiatives, and generating international solidarity and visibility for national human right defenders and the causes they fight for. Since 2019, IPPF EN has hosted IPPF’s global Winning Narratives Centre, a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate impact on social and political change through the sharing of resources, learning and expertise. The Winning Narratives Centre has at its heart a community of practice that connects activists and organisations from around the world with academics, consultants and creative and research agencies to develop, contextualise and test powerful new narratives. It is currently supporting partners in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific to pilot values-based communication strategies.

IPPF EN staff Poland protest 2021
programme

| 14 January 2022

Movement Accelerator Programme

IPPF EN established its Movement Accelerator Programme (MAP) in 2019 in response to the proliferation of attacks across Europe and Central Asia over many years on gender, equality and women’s rights. The EN MAP focuses on strengthening the strategic communication and mobilisation capacities of organisations and social movements in several European countries. Our goal is to work with and learn from diverse groups of actors, and to support with the knowledge-sharing, solidarity and resourcing needed to help fight back against attempts to control women’s bodies, and to accelerate social and political change. The activities that we carry out or support through the EN MAP include research into values and attitudes to provide a basis for strategic communication; development, testing and employment of new and powerful context-specific narratives and strategies; monitoring of harmful anti-rights discourses; and support of grassroots social movements, including capacity sharing and provision of grants for strategic initiatives, and generating international solidarity and visibility for national human right defenders and the causes they fight for. Since 2019, IPPF EN has hosted IPPF’s global Winning Narratives Centre, a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate impact on social and political change through the sharing of resources, learning and expertise. The Winning Narratives Centre has at its heart a community of practice that connects activists and organisations from around the world with academics, consultants and creative and research agencies to develop, contextualise and test powerful new narratives. It is currently supporting partners in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific to pilot values-based communication strategies.

London_Brook_RSE_61039_IPPF_Laura Lewis_UK_IPPF.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Safe from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Our 2019-2021 project addresses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a barrier to the social inclusion of young people. We know well that the groups who are already the most marginalized in Europe are also those who are most at risk of SGBV. YSAFE, IPPF EN’s regional youth network, formed a coalition to take action, joining forces in Portugal, Serbia and Romania with three community-focused organizations engaged in supporting young LGBTQ* people, young Roma people, and young women and others at risk of gender-based discrimination. Together, we have produced a comprehensive toolkit including 38 full new workshop plans and thorough advice on combining them into an appropriate series to respond to a target group's needs. It covers all major current SGBV issues, including SGBV topics that are often left behind in classical sexuality education. There is extensive guidance on how to deliver the toolkit workshops digitally as well as in person, and new monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the toolkit activities when they are used online. We analysed the effect of our piloting on over 320 young people and have proven that our tool delivers real impact in shifting attitudes and increasing competencies around recognizing and preventing SGBV. Young educators in the three countries have had their capacities raised to deliver workshops using the toolkit, and our dissemination activities have resulted in many more organizations in the EU and beyond incorporating the new toolkit into their existing programme of educational activities. You can learn more about the process and its results directly from some of the young people involved, who collaborated on a mini-series of episodes of YSAFE’s podcast.

London_Brook_RSE_61039_IPPF_Laura Lewis_UK_IPPF.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Safe from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Our 2019-2021 project addresses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a barrier to the social inclusion of young people. We know well that the groups who are already the most marginalized in Europe are also those who are most at risk of SGBV. YSAFE, IPPF EN’s regional youth network, formed a coalition to take action, joining forces in Portugal, Serbia and Romania with three community-focused organizations engaged in supporting young LGBTQ* people, young Roma people, and young women and others at risk of gender-based discrimination. Together, we have produced a comprehensive toolkit including 38 full new workshop plans and thorough advice on combining them into an appropriate series to respond to a target group's needs. It covers all major current SGBV issues, including SGBV topics that are often left behind in classical sexuality education. There is extensive guidance on how to deliver the toolkit workshops digitally as well as in person, and new monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the toolkit activities when they are used online. We analysed the effect of our piloting on over 320 young people and have proven that our tool delivers real impact in shifting attitudes and increasing competencies around recognizing and preventing SGBV. Young educators in the three countries have had their capacities raised to deliver workshops using the toolkit, and our dissemination activities have resulted in many more organizations in the EU and beyond incorporating the new toolkit into their existing programme of educational activities. You can learn more about the process and its results directly from some of the young people involved, who collaborated on a mini-series of episodes of YSAFE’s podcast.

young people
programme

| 14 January 2022

Sharing Innovations

YSAFE, IPPF EN’s youth network, created the project “Sharing Innovations” as a response to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the impact they had on the delivery of relationship and sexuality education (RSE). It is an Erasmus+ project aiming to improve access to sexuality education online. We are collaborating with seven national sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations (IPPF EN members in Portugal, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, North Macedonia, Latvia, Serbia) and the End FGM EU network to create a new set of guidelines on delivering safe and effective digital sexuality education. It will incorporate everything that we have learned during the first year of the pandemic about pivoting quickly to online RSE delivery into a user-friendly tool. Young sexuality educators will be testing the tool out in 6-month programmes of activities they will design themselves, focused on different national priorities around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention. We expect the results to be published in the summer of 2022.

young people
programme

| 14 January 2022

Sharing Innovations

YSAFE, IPPF EN’s youth network, created the project “Sharing Innovations” as a response to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the impact they had on the delivery of relationship and sexuality education (RSE). It is an Erasmus+ project aiming to improve access to sexuality education online. We are collaborating with seven national sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations (IPPF EN members in Portugal, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, North Macedonia, Latvia, Serbia) and the End FGM EU network to create a new set of guidelines on delivering safe and effective digital sexuality education. It will incorporate everything that we have learned during the first year of the pandemic about pivoting quickly to online RSE delivery into a user-friendly tool. Young sexuality educators will be testing the tool out in 6-month programmes of activities they will design themselves, focused on different national priorities around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention. We expect the results to be published in the summer of 2022.

Serbia_Gender theatre production_59740_IPPF_Proudfoot_Serbia_IPPF _0.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Youth SpectActors

The Youth SpectActors project, implemented in Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Estonia, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), namely traditional patriarchal systems based on harmful and rigid gender norms around masculinity and femininity, gender-based discrimination and unequal power relations. Young people are at the centre of our intervention, because of the far-reaching impact of GBV in their lives – as survivors, perpetrators, or bystanders. We believe that young people have a key role they play as change agents. To this end we run theatre-based workshops where boys and girls who participate literally walk in one another's shoes to help challenge and dismantle 'gender roles'. Gender roles are merely roles that we are playing all our lives, and this is why playing them on the stage makes perfect sense. By dismantling archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality and prevent violence and coercion within relationships. Relationship and sexuality education, in school settings and outside, plays a key role in ensuring the safe emotional and physical development of young people.     This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020).

Serbia_Gender theatre production_59740_IPPF_Proudfoot_Serbia_IPPF _0.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Youth SpectActors

The Youth SpectActors project, implemented in Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Estonia, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), namely traditional patriarchal systems based on harmful and rigid gender norms around masculinity and femininity, gender-based discrimination and unequal power relations. Young people are at the centre of our intervention, because of the far-reaching impact of GBV in their lives – as survivors, perpetrators, or bystanders. We believe that young people have a key role they play as change agents. To this end we run theatre-based workshops where boys and girls who participate literally walk in one another's shoes to help challenge and dismantle 'gender roles'. Gender roles are merely roles that we are playing all our lives, and this is why playing them on the stage makes perfect sense. By dismantling archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality and prevent violence and coercion within relationships. Relationship and sexuality education, in school settings and outside, plays a key role in ensuring the safe emotional and physical development of young people.     This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020).

Youth Voices, Youth Choices youth group
programme

| 01 June 2023

Youth Voices, Youth Choices

Young people and groups with vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans face a great many barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they bore the brunt of additional obstacles to accessing information, support and care. COVID-19 demonstrated how fragile national health systems are and highlighted countries’ unpreparedness to deal with health emergencies. But it also stimulated creativity by civil society and other actors to counter these barriers, with digital outreach and support playing an expanding, crucial role. Youth Voices, Youth Choices is a project dedicated to learning from the COVID-19 experience in the Western Balkans to ensure sexual and reproductive health services, information and education become more accessible and youth-friendly in the long term, especially for marginalised groups. Running from 2020 until 2023, it brings together IPPF members and partners in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo, supported by IPPF EN’s Regional Office. Project partners have conducted research into the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRH needs and access to services and information, and the role of integrated digital services, with a focus on communities living in remote areas and unfavourable social conditions. They are sharing good practices and empowering young people as campaigners and advocates using digital and offline education tools. And working in multi-stakeholder partnerships, they are developing policy recommendations to support advocacy and youth-led campaigns for stronger health systems and increased access to care, in and beyond emergency situations. In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations based on our research into how the pandemic affected young people. All partners also created national recommendations. Collectively, we built upon these through regional and national advocacy campaigns and actions. Check out our YVYC resources page! Take a look at our series of interviews carried out by young people with their peers on how COVID affected their access to SRHR information, education and care, and their vision for the future. RESEARCH REPORT  As a basis for this work, in 2021 and early 2022, we conducted a study to provide us with a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRHR. The data was published in a series of reports presenting the findings of the study, carried out by and among youth in five Balkan countries. The reports, available for download below, document young people’s SRH needs and experiences and the perspectives of healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders on these needs. They also capture the latter’s needs as they deliver services, information and education to young people, building on their experience of COVID-19. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations that call on decision-makers to listen to young people and uphold their SRHR as they build back health and social systems in the wake of the pandemic. Presented at the European Parliament on 26 October by youth advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matić, the recommendations were developed by a group of specialists who came together to develop a blueprint for designing systems that prioritise access to youth-friendly SRH care, and better support of young people’s health and well-being. The policy recommendations are available for download below. The policy recommendations were used to set advocacy priorities for further actions and campaigning. YOUTH VOICES Young people are at the heart of this work: as researchers, as members of the expert groups that developed policy recommendations, and as advocates and campaigners for change. They were also in the lead at the 'Healthy Youth – Healthy Future' multi-stakeholder meeting in Tirana in spring 2023, where youth representatives and staff from our partner organisations came together with decision-makers and experts from the field - see Tirana joint declaration on protecting the health and social wellbeing of young people. The young participants presented advocacy campaigns carried out at regional and national levels, and shared their needs and experiences at an event held in the Albanian parliament. For more information about this work, please contact us at: [email protected]           This work is funded by MSD for Mothers.

Youth Voices, Youth Choices youth group
programme

| 01 June 2023

Youth Voices, Youth Choices

Young people and groups with vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans face a great many barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they bore the brunt of additional obstacles to accessing information, support and care. COVID-19 demonstrated how fragile national health systems are and highlighted countries’ unpreparedness to deal with health emergencies. But it also stimulated creativity by civil society and other actors to counter these barriers, with digital outreach and support playing an expanding, crucial role. Youth Voices, Youth Choices is a project dedicated to learning from the COVID-19 experience in the Western Balkans to ensure sexual and reproductive health services, information and education become more accessible and youth-friendly in the long term, especially for marginalised groups. Running from 2020 until 2023, it brings together IPPF members and partners in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo, supported by IPPF EN’s Regional Office. Project partners have conducted research into the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRH needs and access to services and information, and the role of integrated digital services, with a focus on communities living in remote areas and unfavourable social conditions. They are sharing good practices and empowering young people as campaigners and advocates using digital and offline education tools. And working in multi-stakeholder partnerships, they are developing policy recommendations to support advocacy and youth-led campaigns for stronger health systems and increased access to care, in and beyond emergency situations. In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations based on our research into how the pandemic affected young people. All partners also created national recommendations. Collectively, we built upon these through regional and national advocacy campaigns and actions. Check out our YVYC resources page! Take a look at our series of interviews carried out by young people with their peers on how COVID affected their access to SRHR information, education and care, and their vision for the future. RESEARCH REPORT  As a basis for this work, in 2021 and early 2022, we conducted a study to provide us with a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic on young people’s SRHR. The data was published in a series of reports presenting the findings of the study, carried out by and among youth in five Balkan countries. The reports, available for download below, document young people’s SRH needs and experiences and the perspectives of healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders on these needs. They also capture the latter’s needs as they deliver services, information and education to young people, building on their experience of COVID-19. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS In October 2022, IPPF EN launched a set of regional policy recommendations that call on decision-makers to listen to young people and uphold their SRHR as they build back health and social systems in the wake of the pandemic. Presented at the European Parliament on 26 October by youth advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matić, the recommendations were developed by a group of specialists who came together to develop a blueprint for designing systems that prioritise access to youth-friendly SRH care, and better support of young people’s health and well-being. The policy recommendations are available for download below. The policy recommendations were used to set advocacy priorities for further actions and campaigning. YOUTH VOICES Young people are at the heart of this work: as researchers, as members of the expert groups that developed policy recommendations, and as advocates and campaigners for change. They were also in the lead at the 'Healthy Youth – Healthy Future' multi-stakeholder meeting in Tirana in spring 2023, where youth representatives and staff from our partner organisations came together with decision-makers and experts from the field - see Tirana joint declaration on protecting the health and social wellbeing of young people. The young participants presented advocacy campaigns carried out at regional and national levels, and shared their needs and experiences at an event held in the Albanian parliament. For more information about this work, please contact us at: [email protected]           This work is funded by MSD for Mothers.

Image gender equality young people
programme

| 05 May 2022

Protecting EU values and rights

Gender inequality and harmful gender norms remain widespread in the EU. While sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment, their attainment varies greatly from country to country. Women and girls, particularly those marginalised by systemic oppression, face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education, which violates their human rights and hinders progress towards gender equality. Discourse from anti-rights movements continues to undermine the significant progress achieved in safeguarding SRHR and threatens many of the rights and values that the EU aims to protect. It is in this context that IPPF EN, together with its Member Associations and partners, is working to progress towards a more gender equal world where people in all their diversity are released from harmful gender norms and fully empowered to make decisions over their lives and bodies.  We are working to strengthen support in the EU institutions and Member States for gender equality and women’s rights by: Ensuring that policy and decision makers at all levels (EU, national and local) are creating progressive legislative and policy frameworks that protect and advance gender equality and women’s rights, including SRHR, within the EU; Educating and empowering young people - as a new generation of EU citizens - to become leaders and drivers of the long-term change process, rooted in societal norms and behaviours, that advances gender equality, eliminates harmful stereotypes and intersectional discrimination, and prevents SGBV; Increasing engagement and capacity of civil society actors to act in a strategic and coordinated manner when promoting gender equality and women’s rights; and Strengthening the technical and organisational capacity of our Member Associations and partners to design, implement and sustain intersectional, gender transformative initiatives.  2023 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS In 2023, under the CERV programme, we collaborated with 24 EU-based IPPF Member Associations (MAs) and collaborative partners (CPs). Our achievements in 2023 include: Supporting civil society movements by creating spaces for our MAs, CPs and other stakeholders to exchange expertise, learn from each other's experiences, engage in closer dialogue, build stronger partnerships, engage in advocacy activities and strategize more effectively and proactively against anti-rights movements.  “SRHR Learning and Action Days”: A four-day programme of learning, sharing and strategising events was organised in October in Sofia, Bulgaria, bringing together over 150 SRHR activists and advocates from more than 30 countries. Participants included civil society organisations, activists driving change in hostile environments, young volunteers and community actors bringing their expertise and lived experience. Mobilising EU decision-makers on gender equality issues, and remaining an expert source of information to them, thereby ensuring important progress in key EU processes. Strengthening the capacity of our national members and partners to advance gender equality at the EU level.   Empowering more young people to build vital life skills by increasing the capacity of our national members and partners to deliver transformative sexuality and relationships education (SRE) that challenges gender inequality.  Contributing to evidence of the protective role played by gender transformative SRE in the fight against gender-based violence, by conducting the first phase of a 4-year study into its impact on attitudes and knowledge among young people, parents and teachers in Portugal.  Strengthening our network's capacity to implement gender transformative approaches, using 'gender assessments' as an internal tool to help us further challenge gender inequality in our programming, policies and language.  You can read our Annual Report 2023 here.     This work is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme which aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The programme will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. 2024 SUB-GRANTS As part of this work, in 2024 IPPF EN is funding the following projects by national partner organisations working to advance SRHR and gender equality: 

Image gender equality young people
programme

| 05 May 2022

Protecting EU values and rights

Gender inequality and harmful gender norms remain widespread in the EU. While sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment, their attainment varies greatly from country to country. Women and girls, particularly those marginalised by systemic oppression, face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education, which violates their human rights and hinders progress towards gender equality. Discourse from anti-rights movements continues to undermine the significant progress achieved in safeguarding SRHR and threatens many of the rights and values that the EU aims to protect. It is in this context that IPPF EN, together with its Member Associations and partners, is working to progress towards a more gender equal world where people in all their diversity are released from harmful gender norms and fully empowered to make decisions over their lives and bodies.  We are working to strengthen support in the EU institutions and Member States for gender equality and women’s rights by: Ensuring that policy and decision makers at all levels (EU, national and local) are creating progressive legislative and policy frameworks that protect and advance gender equality and women’s rights, including SRHR, within the EU; Educating and empowering young people - as a new generation of EU citizens - to become leaders and drivers of the long-term change process, rooted in societal norms and behaviours, that advances gender equality, eliminates harmful stereotypes and intersectional discrimination, and prevents SGBV; Increasing engagement and capacity of civil society actors to act in a strategic and coordinated manner when promoting gender equality and women’s rights; and Strengthening the technical and organisational capacity of our Member Associations and partners to design, implement and sustain intersectional, gender transformative initiatives.  2023 MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS In 2023, under the CERV programme, we collaborated with 24 EU-based IPPF Member Associations (MAs) and collaborative partners (CPs). Our achievements in 2023 include: Supporting civil society movements by creating spaces for our MAs, CPs and other stakeholders to exchange expertise, learn from each other's experiences, engage in closer dialogue, build stronger partnerships, engage in advocacy activities and strategize more effectively and proactively against anti-rights movements.  “SRHR Learning and Action Days”: A four-day programme of learning, sharing and strategising events was organised in October in Sofia, Bulgaria, bringing together over 150 SRHR activists and advocates from more than 30 countries. Participants included civil society organisations, activists driving change in hostile environments, young volunteers and community actors bringing their expertise and lived experience. Mobilising EU decision-makers on gender equality issues, and remaining an expert source of information to them, thereby ensuring important progress in key EU processes. Strengthening the capacity of our national members and partners to advance gender equality at the EU level.   Empowering more young people to build vital life skills by increasing the capacity of our national members and partners to deliver transformative sexuality and relationships education (SRE) that challenges gender inequality.  Contributing to evidence of the protective role played by gender transformative SRE in the fight against gender-based violence, by conducting the first phase of a 4-year study into its impact on attitudes and knowledge among young people, parents and teachers in Portugal.  Strengthening our network's capacity to implement gender transformative approaches, using 'gender assessments' as an internal tool to help us further challenge gender inequality in our programming, policies and language.  You can read our Annual Report 2023 here.     This work is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme which aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The programme will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. 2024 SUB-GRANTS As part of this work, in 2024 IPPF EN is funding the following projects by national partner organisations working to advance SRHR and gender equality: 

IPPF EN staff Poland protest 2021
programme

| 14 January 2022

Movement Accelerator Programme

IPPF EN established its Movement Accelerator Programme (MAP) in 2019 in response to the proliferation of attacks across Europe and Central Asia over many years on gender, equality and women’s rights. The EN MAP focuses on strengthening the strategic communication and mobilisation capacities of organisations and social movements in several European countries. Our goal is to work with and learn from diverse groups of actors, and to support with the knowledge-sharing, solidarity and resourcing needed to help fight back against attempts to control women’s bodies, and to accelerate social and political change. The activities that we carry out or support through the EN MAP include research into values and attitudes to provide a basis for strategic communication; development, testing and employment of new and powerful context-specific narratives and strategies; monitoring of harmful anti-rights discourses; and support of grassroots social movements, including capacity sharing and provision of grants for strategic initiatives, and generating international solidarity and visibility for national human right defenders and the causes they fight for. Since 2019, IPPF EN has hosted IPPF’s global Winning Narratives Centre, a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate impact on social and political change through the sharing of resources, learning and expertise. The Winning Narratives Centre has at its heart a community of practice that connects activists and organisations from around the world with academics, consultants and creative and research agencies to develop, contextualise and test powerful new narratives. It is currently supporting partners in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific to pilot values-based communication strategies.

IPPF EN staff Poland protest 2021
programme

| 14 January 2022

Movement Accelerator Programme

IPPF EN established its Movement Accelerator Programme (MAP) in 2019 in response to the proliferation of attacks across Europe and Central Asia over many years on gender, equality and women’s rights. The EN MAP focuses on strengthening the strategic communication and mobilisation capacities of organisations and social movements in several European countries. Our goal is to work with and learn from diverse groups of actors, and to support with the knowledge-sharing, solidarity and resourcing needed to help fight back against attempts to control women’s bodies, and to accelerate social and political change. The activities that we carry out or support through the EN MAP include research into values and attitudes to provide a basis for strategic communication; development, testing and employment of new and powerful context-specific narratives and strategies; monitoring of harmful anti-rights discourses; and support of grassroots social movements, including capacity sharing and provision of grants for strategic initiatives, and generating international solidarity and visibility for national human right defenders and the causes they fight for. Since 2019, IPPF EN has hosted IPPF’s global Winning Narratives Centre, a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate impact on social and political change through the sharing of resources, learning and expertise. The Winning Narratives Centre has at its heart a community of practice that connects activists and organisations from around the world with academics, consultants and creative and research agencies to develop, contextualise and test powerful new narratives. It is currently supporting partners in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific to pilot values-based communication strategies.

London_Brook_RSE_61039_IPPF_Laura Lewis_UK_IPPF.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Safe from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Our 2019-2021 project addresses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a barrier to the social inclusion of young people. We know well that the groups who are already the most marginalized in Europe are also those who are most at risk of SGBV. YSAFE, IPPF EN’s regional youth network, formed a coalition to take action, joining forces in Portugal, Serbia and Romania with three community-focused organizations engaged in supporting young LGBTQ* people, young Roma people, and young women and others at risk of gender-based discrimination. Together, we have produced a comprehensive toolkit including 38 full new workshop plans and thorough advice on combining them into an appropriate series to respond to a target group's needs. It covers all major current SGBV issues, including SGBV topics that are often left behind in classical sexuality education. There is extensive guidance on how to deliver the toolkit workshops digitally as well as in person, and new monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the toolkit activities when they are used online. We analysed the effect of our piloting on over 320 young people and have proven that our tool delivers real impact in shifting attitudes and increasing competencies around recognizing and preventing SGBV. Young educators in the three countries have had their capacities raised to deliver workshops using the toolkit, and our dissemination activities have resulted in many more organizations in the EU and beyond incorporating the new toolkit into their existing programme of educational activities. You can learn more about the process and its results directly from some of the young people involved, who collaborated on a mini-series of episodes of YSAFE’s podcast.

London_Brook_RSE_61039_IPPF_Laura Lewis_UK_IPPF.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Safe from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Our 2019-2021 project addresses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a barrier to the social inclusion of young people. We know well that the groups who are already the most marginalized in Europe are also those who are most at risk of SGBV. YSAFE, IPPF EN’s regional youth network, formed a coalition to take action, joining forces in Portugal, Serbia and Romania with three community-focused organizations engaged in supporting young LGBTQ* people, young Roma people, and young women and others at risk of gender-based discrimination. Together, we have produced a comprehensive toolkit including 38 full new workshop plans and thorough advice on combining them into an appropriate series to respond to a target group's needs. It covers all major current SGBV issues, including SGBV topics that are often left behind in classical sexuality education. There is extensive guidance on how to deliver the toolkit workshops digitally as well as in person, and new monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the toolkit activities when they are used online. We analysed the effect of our piloting on over 320 young people and have proven that our tool delivers real impact in shifting attitudes and increasing competencies around recognizing and preventing SGBV. Young educators in the three countries have had their capacities raised to deliver workshops using the toolkit, and our dissemination activities have resulted in many more organizations in the EU and beyond incorporating the new toolkit into their existing programme of educational activities. You can learn more about the process and its results directly from some of the young people involved, who collaborated on a mini-series of episodes of YSAFE’s podcast.

young people
programme

| 14 January 2022

Sharing Innovations

YSAFE, IPPF EN’s youth network, created the project “Sharing Innovations” as a response to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the impact they had on the delivery of relationship and sexuality education (RSE). It is an Erasmus+ project aiming to improve access to sexuality education online. We are collaborating with seven national sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations (IPPF EN members in Portugal, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, North Macedonia, Latvia, Serbia) and the End FGM EU network to create a new set of guidelines on delivering safe and effective digital sexuality education. It will incorporate everything that we have learned during the first year of the pandemic about pivoting quickly to online RSE delivery into a user-friendly tool. Young sexuality educators will be testing the tool out in 6-month programmes of activities they will design themselves, focused on different national priorities around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention. We expect the results to be published in the summer of 2022.

young people
programme

| 14 January 2022

Sharing Innovations

YSAFE, IPPF EN’s youth network, created the project “Sharing Innovations” as a response to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the impact they had on the delivery of relationship and sexuality education (RSE). It is an Erasmus+ project aiming to improve access to sexuality education online. We are collaborating with seven national sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations (IPPF EN members in Portugal, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, North Macedonia, Latvia, Serbia) and the End FGM EU network to create a new set of guidelines on delivering safe and effective digital sexuality education. It will incorporate everything that we have learned during the first year of the pandemic about pivoting quickly to online RSE delivery into a user-friendly tool. Young sexuality educators will be testing the tool out in 6-month programmes of activities they will design themselves, focused on different national priorities around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention. We expect the results to be published in the summer of 2022.

Serbia_Gender theatre production_59740_IPPF_Proudfoot_Serbia_IPPF _0.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Youth SpectActors

The Youth SpectActors project, implemented in Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Estonia, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), namely traditional patriarchal systems based on harmful and rigid gender norms around masculinity and femininity, gender-based discrimination and unequal power relations. Young people are at the centre of our intervention, because of the far-reaching impact of GBV in their lives – as survivors, perpetrators, or bystanders. We believe that young people have a key role they play as change agents. To this end we run theatre-based workshops where boys and girls who participate literally walk in one another's shoes to help challenge and dismantle 'gender roles'. Gender roles are merely roles that we are playing all our lives, and this is why playing them on the stage makes perfect sense. By dismantling archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality and prevent violence and coercion within relationships. Relationship and sexuality education, in school settings and outside, plays a key role in ensuring the safe emotional and physical development of young people.     This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020).

Serbia_Gender theatre production_59740_IPPF_Proudfoot_Serbia_IPPF _0.jpg
programme

| 14 January 2022

Youth SpectActors

The Youth SpectActors project, implemented in Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Estonia, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), namely traditional patriarchal systems based on harmful and rigid gender norms around masculinity and femininity, gender-based discrimination and unequal power relations. Young people are at the centre of our intervention, because of the far-reaching impact of GBV in their lives – as survivors, perpetrators, or bystanders. We believe that young people have a key role they play as change agents. To this end we run theatre-based workshops where boys and girls who participate literally walk in one another's shoes to help challenge and dismantle 'gender roles'. Gender roles are merely roles that we are playing all our lives, and this is why playing them on the stage makes perfect sense. By dismantling archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality and prevent violence and coercion within relationships. Relationship and sexuality education, in school settings and outside, plays a key role in ensuring the safe emotional and physical development of young people.     This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020).