The 2018 Inter-agency field manual on reproductive health in humanitarian settings: revising the global standards

Reprod Health Matters. 2017 Nov;25(51):18-24. doi: 10.1080/09688080.2017.1403277. Epub 2017 Dec 12.


Since the 1990s, the Inter-agency field manual on reproductive health in humanitarian settings (IAFM) has provided authoritative guidance on reproductive health service provision during different phases of complex humanitarian emergencies. In 2018, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises will release a new edition of this global resource. In this article, we describe the collaborative and inter-sectoral revision process and highlight major changes in the 2018 IAFM. Key revisions to the manual include repositioning unintended pregnancy prevention within and explicitly incorporating safe abortion care into the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) chapter, which outlines a set of priority activities to be implemented at the outset of a humanitarian crisis; stronger guidance on the transition from the MISP to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services; and the addition of a logistics chapter. In addition, the IAFM now places greater and more consistent emphasis on human rights principles and obligations, gender-based violence, and the linkages between maternal and newborn health, and incorporates a diverse range of field examples. We conclude this article with an outline of plans for releasing the 2018 IAFM and facilitating uptake by those working in refugee, crisis, conflict, and emergency settings.

Keywords: Abortion; contraception; displaced persons; gender-based violence; human rights; maternal and newborn health; refugees; sexual and reproductive health.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Capacity Building
  • Contraception / methods
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / economics
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Policy
  • Refugees*
  • Relief Work / economics
  • Relief Work / organization & administration*
  • Reproductive Health Services / economics
  • Reproductive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Reproductive Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Sex Education
  • United Nations*
  • Women's Health