Research is central to our work. What we do is based on the latest evidence that we also make available to our partners and others around the world. We do research to shape our interventions and undertake studies that inform our understanding of sexual and reproductive behaviour and attitudes.

Rutgers works with national partners, in-country researchers and young people in communities to improve the quality, effectiveness and sustainability of our programmes. Planning, monitoring, evaluation, learning and research are integral to our work. We have strong frameworks to measure progress, processes and results.

Research shapes our work

Our programmes are evidence-based. This means they are based on existing knowledge. Where this evidence is missing, we do research to collect the information we need. Accurate data and emerging trends on sexual and reproductive health and rights are also made publicly available. Rutgers’ research enables us to:

  • Get a thorough understanding of problems we aim to address
  • Check whether we achieve what we set out to achieve
  • Provide insight on what works and what doesn’t, to help us get better

Data collection, analysis and reporting is often done by in-country research teams, with young people participating as co-researchers. Rutgers provides training and support throughout the research process.

We lead programmes in which research is central. On others, we serve as a technical partner on research around comprehensive sexuality education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, safe abortion, LGBTQI+ rights, addressing harmful social norms, gender-transformative approaches and meaningful and inclusive youth participation.

What we research

Rutgers undertakes research into social, psychological and political processes relevant to sexual reproductive health and rights. We investigate sexual and reproductive behaviour and attitudes and their causes and the sexual health needs of particular groups. In the Netherlands, Rutgers collects unique data on the sexual health of the population.

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Research highlights

Scaling up CSE Scaling up sexuality education

This report presents key steps needed to scale-up comprehensive sexuality education to reach large groups of young people in a sustainable way.

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COVID-19 and SRHR: I feel that things are out of my hands

A global study by Rutgers found that the pandemic has a detrimental effect on young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and worsens existing inequalities.

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Understanding sexual agency

Review of literature and scientific debates on sexual agency. The article includes recommendations on how SRHR programmes could strengthen the sexual agency of young people.

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Enhance and sustain adolescent sexual and reproductive health, rights, and wellbeing at scale

This report summarises how Rutgers has worked with partners to bring together multiple complementary interventions.

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How we use our research

Because we work so closely with partners and stakeholders, learning from research to improve programme planning happens immediately. We also help translate data and recommendations into practice, and monitor how improvements are affecting programme achievements.

Our research and learning is routinely shared between countries, programmes and at international conferences. Our team – which has an impressive range of thematic expertise and methodology experience – publishes findings in professional and scientific journals, so others can benefit.

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