About the Reproductive Empowerment Database

Woman learning about family planning options from counselor

Reproductive Empowerment

Reproductive empowerment (RE), a distinct dimension of empowerment, is a process of change whereby individuals expand their capacity to make informed reproductive health (RH) decisions and act on their choices to achieve desired reproductive outcomes. RE includes people’s ability to participate in public and private discussions and act collectively on reproductive health matters. The Reproductive Empowerment Conceptual Model, introduced by the International Center for Research on Women, (also shown with the database) describes RE as a function of agency at three levels—levels of agency. Empowerment is also described as being exercised through three key expressions of empowerment: RH decision-making, RH leadership and RH collective action. In addition, intermediate and long-term RE outcomes are included as illustrations for family planning programs that desire to make RE a key program goal.

SBCC and RE Desk Review

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) scanned the literature to explore the use of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) RH interventions that address concepts in the RE conceptual model. Interventions at the individual, intermediate and/or distal relational levels, regardless of whether expected outcomes pertained to RH decision making, leadership or collective action were selected for this database (e.g., an intervention that addressed gender norms at distal relational level to affect changes in RH joint decision making). Read this brief for more details on RE and HC3’s desk review.

SBCC and RE Evidence Database

Search this database by country, target population, SBCC activity and key RE concepts. A link to the abstract and summary descriptions are provided for each study. Interactive hotspots are mapped onto the Reproductive Empowerment Model for one-click, predefined searches on each RE concept. The desk review included over 2,000 abstracts drawn from eight databases. In total, over 50 studies are highlighted in the Reproductive Empowerment Evidence Database.

See the other Family Planning / Reproductive Health databases:


Additional Resources

This website is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Breakthrough ACTION is supported by USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Bureau for Global Health, under Cooperative Agreement: #AID-OAA-A-17-00017. Breakthrough ACTION is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Breakthrough ACTION. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of USAID, the United States Government, or Johns Hopkins University.

United States Agency for International Development