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This is the first of a series of Occasional Inter-Agency Technical Support Services System papers. The purpose of the series is to provide timely and relevant inputs to contribute to the process of national capacity building by translating state-of-the-art knowledge and country level experiences into operational strategies, bringing together the multi-disciplinary resources of the TSS System.

The idea to do collaborative work on male involvement in reproductive health originated in a CST Bangkok internal seminar which was attended by two FAO TSS specialists. It was identified and adopted as a system-wide priority issue. A joint TSS-CST drafting committee produced a first draft, which was broadly circulated for comments and inputs throughout the system. After these inputs were incorporated, the document was discussed between CST and TSS staff at the internal seminars of the CSTs of Addis Ababa, Harare and Kathmandu in order to incorporate practical aspects from field experience. Several country programme managers and UNFPA Country Representatives participated in these seminars.

The original drafting committee was composed of Jacques du Guerny (Chief, SDWP/FAO), Janet Edmondson (FAO-CST Bangkok) who worked on the socio-cultural dimensions of male involvement, Malika Ladjali (TSS-WHO), who developed the components related to services, Marilyn Rice (TSS-WHO), who worked on the IEC/Advocacy issues and Marcela Villarreal (TSS-FAO), who worked on the problem statement and on the socio-cultural issues.

Given the nature of the paper, which focuses on hands-on operationalization of the issues, bibliographical references have been omitted. A large number of references consulted can be made available by the TSS specialists involved.

The innovativeness of this approach stems from the fact that from the outset, the discussion involved the different disciplines and agencies present in the system and brought together the conceptual and the empirical aspects of the topic. This document provides one example of the way in which the integration of the different components of the system can have far reaching and practical implications for country programmes and national capacity building. It is hoped that the present paper will contribute to demonstrating the pioneering role of the TSS system in integrating multi-disciplinary and inter-agency approaches to population issues for the benefit of country programmes.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the active contribution of the all the CSTs to this paper, and in particular the CST Addis Ababa for providing the first opportunity for the TSS specialists to discuss the issue of male involvement in reproductive health programmes with CST Advisers, Country Representatives, other UN agencies, NGOs, programme managers and parliamentarians.

Jacques du Guerny


Population Programme Service


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