About Us

Today’s SRH Market Challenges

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) products – like contraceptives, medicines to manage pregnancy-related complications, and supplies for safe abortion and post-abortion care – are critical to saving lives and advancing gender equality. They can dramatically improve people’s health and wellbeing by reducing unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal deaths.

However, persistent weaknesses in current SRH markets still prevent millions of people from being able to access comprehensive, quality, and affordable SRH products that fit their preferences. SRH products are too often unaffordable, inaccessible, or simply don’t match individual preferences and lifestyles.

SRH markets are particularly complex because of underlying market conditions such as:

  • Little insight into user preferences which also evolve over time
  • Significant variation between countries about which SRH products and services are provided and how
  • Uncoordinated service provision between the public and private sectors
  • Over-reliance on donor funding and limited country ownership of market strategies
  • Fragmented and fragile procurement environments
  • Varying manufacturing, policy, and regulatory needs for SRH products

The consequences of these market challenges are startling. Today, 218 million women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) who want to avoid or delay pregnancy are not using modern contraceptives and approximately 810 women die every day from causes related to pregnancy, childbirth, and unsafe abortion. Currently, from development to launch, new contraceptives can take up to five years longer to be introduced to LMIC markets than other global health products.

At the same time, there are opportunities. Countries are assuming greater political and financial responsibility for SRH markets, while regional collaboration, local manufacturing, and local entrepreneurship are on the rise.

IT’S TIME FOR A RADICAL SHIFT TO IMPROVE MARKETS FOR SRH PRODUCTS.

WE NEED AN APPROACH WHERE GLOBAL ACTORS ARE WORKING WITH COUNTRY PARTNERS TO UNDERSTAND AND RESPOND TO LOCAL NEEDS AND TACKLE MARKET PROBLEMS TOGETHER.

SEMA’s Origins

Global efforts in the last decade have enabled 60 million additional women and girls to access SRH products. However, SRH markets are still failing to meet consumer needs.

These challenges spurred a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee to pursue a consultative process from 2020 to 2021 – engaging over 100 stakeholders globally – to imagine how to support healthier, more equitable, and more resilient SRH markets. Together, these country leaders, public and private implementers, civil society members, donors, and market representatives conceived of Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health, or SEMA Reproductive Health. Their ideas informed the design of a new model that engages with country stakeholders and consumers to understand local needs and priorities, and ultimately drive solutions.

SEMA was announced in July 2021 alongside the Generation Equality Forum in France, with country governments from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Uganda; financial support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE); and strategic partnership from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC).

The SEMA Approach

A NEW ERA FOR SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MARKETS

SEMA’s vision is a world with healthy, equitable and resilient markets for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) products in low- and middle-income countries that allow people, especially women and adolescent girls, to control their health and future.

SEMA’s mission is to support country and global partners to design and drive coordinated data-based strategies that shape healthy, equitable, and resilient SRH markets capable of meeting communities’ diverse needs.

With countries and global organizations, SEMA will focus on aligning and strengthening market shaping efforts across geographies and private and public sectors through three core activity areas:

In all of our activities, SEMA commits to being:

Consumer-responsive

Placing the needs of consumers at the centre of everything we do

Country-driven with a strong local presence

Putting countries at the core of SEMA’s operations and decision-making processes

Evidence based

Being guided by data and evidence, and by continuous quality improvements

Partnership-minded

Using a network-driven operating model that leverages partners and builds on functioning processes while enhancing coordination

Nimble and adaptive

Prioritizing an entrepreneurial mindset and lean structure that is responsive to country and user needs, and able to deploy multiple financing approaches

Meet Our Team

Making our vision a reality requires an extraordinary group of SRH advocates and experts.