Australian Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Research Roundtable

In December 2012, the Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Roundtable met in Sydney as a first step to strengthen the SRH research agenda within Australia. Participants noted that government does not prioritise SRH, despite the significant needs in some population groups, and continues to cut funding for SRH research and services. Furthermore, there is no coordination and priority-driven research in this field.

The Roundtable, funded by Merk Sharp and Dhome, Pfizer, and Glyde, was the first step in strengthening the SRH research agenda within Australia that will lead to an enhanced policy focus on SRH at government levels.

The following proposed outcomes for the Research Roundtable were agreed:

  1. Obtain consensus on key Australian SRH research priorities
  2. Develop a national SRH research framework
  3. Develop a policy and advocacy action plan to drive a national SRH research agenda
  4. Produce a Research Roundtable Report

Participants agreed that the Research Roundtable had been a positive first step in moving towards a national SRH and rights research framework, including future development of a national priority-driven SRH research strategy.  The identified benefits of this approach included increasing the prominence of the need for SRH research and the opportunity to create a more collaborative and consolidated approach to progress all areas of SRH within Australia. Everyone agreed that the Research Roundtable had provided a rare opportunity for a wide range of stakeholder to work together and that ongoing collaboration across the SRH sector was called for.

SH&FPA will seek additional funding to further progress this initiative, including further development of the Background Paper and establishment and implementation of a national SRH and Rights Research Strategy, including a broad consultation process.