Social Return on Investment (SROI): An Innovative Approach to Sustainable Development Goals for Sexual and Reproductive Health Programming in sub-Saharan Africa

Shubha R. Kumara, Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas

Abstract

Despite efforts, sub-Saharan Africa did not achieve many key Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) targets under the Millennium Development Goals. In the post 2015 era, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will frame decisions on donor priorities and resource allocations. Successfully addressing SRH challenges in sub-Saharan Africa have been blunted due to fragmentation of SRH interventions in planning and implementation, lack of coherence between policies and program implementation, resulting in poor program performance and lack of accountability. We suggest the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework offers a strategic approach for sub-Saharan Africa in support of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of SRH programs given its capacity to capture social and economic impacts, stakeholder participation, and sensitivity towards key human rights concerns relevant to SRH. SROI disrupts a ―business as usual‖ approach for one that is systematic, participatory, and supportive of economic and human rights needs for success in the SDG era. (Afr J Reprod Health 2016 (Special Edition); 20[3]: 85-93)

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