Let me start by introducing myself, I am Céline Martens and currently I am part of the research group conducting a research for CHOICE: for youth and sexuality. The main goal of our research is to measure the impact of the international advocacy programme of CHOICE. They advocate for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights all over the world by attending several conferences throughout the year and try to get their voice heard. As a research team we are putting our efforts together to try to measure the impact of CHOICE’s efforts in advocating for SRHR. By trying to come up with indicators to measure the impact, we want to establish a framework with which CHOICE can measure their efforts and results and draw conclusions from that for the future. By establishing such a framework and indicators, CHOICE can, if necessary, change their strategy and advocacy efforts to optimize their work and results.
Even though we are only conducting research for one youth-led organization in the Netherlands which advocates for SRHR, this can have a bigger impact on SRHR in general. If CHOICE manages to optimize their international advocacy programme, based on the findings of our research, this can have very positive outcomes for the influence of SRHR among young people all over the world. When CHOICE manages to better get across their messages at international conferences, other organizations can draw on CHOICE’s example and try on their turn to influence their government and population. Advocating for SRHR is all about networking and cooperating with other like-minded organizations. If CHOICE optimizes and improves their international advocacy programme, they can share this knowledge with their partners, who will benefit from this new information, enabling them to also measure their advocacy programme and improve where needed. This sort of domino effect can then spread across a wide range of organizations all over the world who advocate for SRHR. The more organizations improve their strategy and programme, the bigger an impact this will have for SRHR.
So whereas we, as a research team, are only conducting a research for one organization, this can have a very positive effect for the world around us by influencing other organizations. Research can hereby be seen as part of the bigger picture. You do something small, but its effect can be enormous, if shared with others and executed by them. You can see this happening all throughout time, where researchers investigate and write on a particular topic, which will later be continued upon by other researchers, all leading up to a bigger picture in later stages. As an individual you can only do so much, but this ‘small effort’ can lead to so many bigger and important things. That is what we, as researchers, have to keep in mind when conducting research. We are not only doing it for ourselves, we are also doing it for the benefit of others.
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Once every three weeks, one of the researchers of Choice will publish a Blog Post.