Home Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) An open call from WHO ! Seeking feedback to develop a population-representative sexual health survey instrument

An open call from WHO ! Seeking feedback to develop a population-representative sexual health survey instrument

by Public Health Update

An open call from WHO ! Seeking feedback to develop a population-representative sexual health survey instrument

Are you a sexual/reproductive health researcher or advocate? Passionate about sexual health in practice or research? The WHO and partners need your feedback on a survey instrument assessing sexual practices, behaviours, and outcomes worldwide.


To date, there is no standard, globally-agreed upon instrument to measure sexual practices, behaviours and sexual health-related outcomes. Instead, many population-representative surveys use their own items and domains, making comparisons and collaboration difficult. To encourage the inclusion of transparent and comparable sexual health-related measures on population-representative surveys, and in response to calls from leading sexual health researchers, the WHO seeks to develop a standard instrument for assessing sexual practices, behaviours, and sexual health-related outcomes worldwide. This instrument could then serve as a ‘module’ for use in national and sub-national data collection, as well as allow for needed comparative research.

The purpose of this open call is to solicit examples of existing survey instruments, domains related to sexual health, implementation considerations, and creative ideas for related measures or analyses. People with high-scoring submissions will be supported to join an in-person hackathon (72-hour event with expert faculty) to finalize a standardized sexual health survey instrument in January 2020.  

Who can participate?

This call is open to anyone with professional interest, experience and/or expertise in sexual practices/behaviours and sexual health-related outcomes. This experience can be related to certain populations or the general population.

Why should I submit?

Your submission will help to develop this standard instrument for assessing sexual health practices, behaviours, and outcomes, and also encourage transparent and comparable sexual health items on population-representative surveys across the globe.

People providing eligible submissions will be given a commendation certificate from the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) to recognise participation. A selected group of 10-20 people whose overall contributions receive the highest scores from judges will be invited to join the hackathon. People who submit any idea or measure(s) that is used in the final standardized instrument will be recognized in the publication as an instrument co-developer.


Format and guidelines for submission

All submissions should be related to sexual and reproductive health. We are particularly interested in items that can be used in a broad range of settings, especially low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

All measures and any comments can be provided in any of the six official WHO languages (these are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish): where possible, English is preferred.

Submission categories include the following:  

  1. Feedback on which domains to include, exclude, or modify in the standardized survey instrument (see initial list here).
  2. Feedback on which implementation considerations related to doing population-representative surveys to include, exclude, or modify (see initial list here).
  3. Examples of existing survey instruments. Please provide as much information as possible on any instrument provided and our current list of submitted instruments here. Note that full instruments should be either focused on sexual/reproductive health or have an entire module focused on sexual and reproductive health.
  4. Creative ideas. This could be a new measure or analysis method that has been or has not been published.

Files can be uploaded as Word documents or PDFs. All entries should be submitted via the website submission portal by 11:59 GMT on October 24th, 2019

More Information

More details about the call and who is involved, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions can be found here.

Got a question? Send an email to Lianne Gonsalves at [email protected] and use the subject line: ‘Sexual Health Survey Open Call’.

Official Announcement link Submission Link


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