Stigma around abortion and other reproductive health care services is widely pervasive, and research shows that stigma can impact quality of care. In order to create a safe and supportive environment for people to obtain sexual and reproductive health care (SRH), resources like the Values Clarification and Attitudes Transformation (VCAT) workshop help providers acknowledge and take responsibility for their own beliefs, gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances in which people seek abortion and contraception, and reduce biases and stigma toward people seeking abortion. Despite their widespread use, there is little research evaluating VCAT workshops, and fewer studies addressing the effect of provider trainings on the abortion clients they serve. It is crucial to link provider training to service provision and client experience in order to demonstrate its effectiveness, to determine how to best tweak, scale, and expand the workshop, and to understand the frequency with which workshops should be offered.
This project aims to assess how Values Clarification and Attitude Transformation (VCAT) workshops for SRH providers influences the provision of abortion and family planning services, including the quality and person-centeredness of care provided. A secondary aim is to measure how provider attitudes, knowledge, and behavior change over time as a result of the VCAT workshop. Research was conducted across multiple regions in Ethiopia in partnership with MSI Reproductive Choices and Marie Stopes Ethiopia. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the study was adapted to primarily focus on providers and service volumes. We hope to share preliminary findings from the study in 2021.