This mixed-method research project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to contraception or safe abortion services for women of reproductive age in Iran, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands. The developed knowledge products aim to inform relevant stakeholders on improving the access to contraception and safe abortion during crises.
- As first-time ethical approval for an international project, we learnt that the ethical process is a systematic and thorough process that requires patience. Ethical approval for a multi-national project is even more detailed and requires team coordination and effort.
- It was difficult to make a good financial plan for a short project. Costs were estimated as supporting external researchers in the different countries were not completely identified yet. We have done almost everything ourselves to be sure that the research was done well. This could be improved in future projects, by being better prepared and ensure the use of our big networks.
- Deadlines are important to adhere to especially in an international team with time differences and cultural differences. Encouraging punctuality kept the team motivated.
- Given the scope of the project, adhering to initial timings proved difficult. Our supervisors at Share-Net were fantastic to extend our deadlines. Lesson learned: KEEP IT SIMPLE.
- We found that having an international, comparative study increased the depth of the research, which proved more valuable to researchers and policy makers.
Understanding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sexual and Reproductive Health Services.