Saving for Change and Reproductive Health - Segou Region, Mali
In January 2017, Oxfam and its local implementing partner G-FORCE launched Saving for Change (SfC) + Reproductive Health in the Segou region of Mali.
The project was designed to reach 7,200 adolescent girls and women from at least 360 Saving for Change groups, and focused on increasing women’s and girls' knowledge about their reproductive health, as well as their access to adequate health services. The intervention sought to mobilize of the community power of SfC groups in the Segou region to increase women's and girls' access to information, education, and family planning services, by responding to what is currently an unfulfilled need. Mali has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, at 6.1 children per woman. The evaluation finds that women participants had a significant increase in their level of knowledge; more of the women are now better aware of the different types of contraceptive methods. It also finds an increase in the use of contraception in the project intervention zones. However, there is limited evidence in shifting attitudes towards fertility, especially in rural areas. While the project addressed community needs for information about family planning, it only addressed women, even though in the Malian cultural context, the use of a family planning method is a decision that requires permission from husbands/partners. Thus, raising men’s awareness is a critical next step.