GAC Awards PSI and MSI $CAD 19.7M to Bring Smart Start to 500K+ Ethiopian Girls

Our commitment has guided our work since day one: serving consumers – at scale – with the tools to take charge of their lives. And with new funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), we – PSI in partnership with Marie Stopes International (MSI) – are extending our reach to two new regions across rural Ethiopia.

Through a $CAD 19.7M contribution from GAC, PSI and MSI will implement Smart Start in 48 Ethiopian districts. Together, we’ll increase health system capacity to reach rural, married girls aged 15-19 with the adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) services they need the most. The investment comes on the heels of RISE, a project funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to integrate Smart Start into Ethiopia’s national Health Extension Program – bringing Smart Start to 1 million girls by 2025.

Smart Start introduces contraceptive counseling through financial planning, supporting young rural couples to understand the cost implications of having children before they are ready. Using Smart Start, PSI will lead demand generation for  contraceptive services, while MSI will improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) service delivery through their innovative mobile outreach model. The efforts will reach 500,000 girls with ASRH information and support 150,000+ additional girls to choose contraception by 2024.

Since implementation launch in Jan. 2018 through April 2020, three in four girls have voluntarily chosen contraception through Smart Start; one in two girls will choose a long-acting method.

A Case for Smart Start

We’ve packaged our experience in Ethiopia into a technical brief that analyzes A360’s strategy and lessons learned to date and offering considerations for similar ASRH implementation in future settings.

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