In September 2015, 193 governments formally approved a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that expired last year. In light of this, governments across the world will be required to develop and implement new policies in the coming years in order to achieve the targets set for these goals. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) lies at the immediate intersect of SDG3 (ensure healthy lives), SDG5 (achieve gender equality) and SDG10 (reduce inequalities), and has a direct link to many other goals. As a consequence, SRHR should have a central position in these new policies. The development of these new policies necessitates an evidence base to ensure their adequacy and effectiveness. Also, the success of their implementation is closely linked to reliable follow-up and monitoring by professionals with the required training and expertise. Finally, regular exchange of knowledge and sharing of experiences between different types of stakeholders and different countries can contribute to improving existing approaches and policies.
In light of the above, Ghent University established an Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy that aims to become a global resource for SRHR policy research, education and service delivery by establishing an international platform for research on SRHR policy related topics; by developing a portfolio of education and training programmes on SRHR policy; and by fostering interaction between SRHR researchers and policy makers.