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Translating sustainable development goals to address poor reproductive health: exploring the role of civil society organisations

Project Description

The purpose of this study is to explore how high-level sustainable development goals in the context of reproductive health are translated to effective social policies and implemented by NGOs. Specifically, what processes do these organisations engage in, how, if at all, do they connect the assumed interdependencies between SDGs; what participatory activities exist that allow interaction at international, national and local levels on implementation of SDGs; and what review processes exist to measure effectiveness.


We anticipate the methodology to take the form of an in-depth case study or a comparative case study approach, exploring how the translation of SDGs to social policies has become operationalised in the context of reproductive health and the role of NGOs in this process. Relevant case studies may come from either the global south or the global north and we invite applicants to propose appropriate case studies for the project.


We further envisage the study to adopt an innovative process tracing approach for understanding the policy impact of the SDGs. Process tracing is a research method for tracing causal mechanisms using detailed, within-case empirical analysis of how a causal process plays out in an actual case. Process tracing can be used both for case studies that aim to gain a greater understanding of the causal dynamics that produced the outcome of a particular historical case and to shed light on generalizable causal mechanisms linking causes and outcomes within a population of causally similar cases. (Beach, 2017:1)


Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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