The Unmentionables isn't afraid of a challenge. From day 1 we have committed to providing sexual and reproductive health support to the most vulnerable displaced communities around the world, no matter where they are. Our approach prioritizes evidence-based and community-informed solutions that are durable, long-term, and will fundamentally change the health, wellness, and empowerment of communities for years to come.
Quality over Quantity
The Unmentionables believes that what sets our approach apart is our commitment to quality programs and initiatives, rather than the quantity of projects. Sexual and reproductive health engagement, education, and empowerment is an issue that requires substantial commitment, time, and resources, as well as significant community trust. With that in mind, The Unmentionables commits to responding to no more than 3 global crises at a time.
Priorities and Principles
Our work is based on Smart Aid principles. Through this model, we prioritize the needs of the communities we serve at every stage, always working on a policy of 'Ask, Don't Tell' when it comes to what is needed by the community. We believe the best solutions are generally the ones that integrate the community's knowledge, skills, passion, and dedication into every step of the process and that their investment in our work ultimately leads to sustainable change. To this end, we prioritize a livelihood and empowerment approach at every stage of our planning; allowing us to have a multi-level impact within the communities we serve.
Learn more about Our Principles.
COMMUNITY INFORMED PROGRAM RESEARCH
We never back down from a challenge, and that means serving the communities that need our support the most. Through rigorous sociopolitical and strategic analysis and community informed research, The Unmentionables identifies locations based on widespread need, while further identifying target communities and demographics through community-focused surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. Community participation and feedback is an important part of our process, as enthusiastic participation and support is vital for the success of our sexual and reproductive health initiatives.
INFORMED PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
Upon analysis of the feedback we gather, The Unmentionables identifies the programs best suited to the needs that the community has expressed. Our programs include Health and Hygiene, Protection, and Education initiatives, each of which is directly tailored to the demographics, knowledge, and needs identified by the community.
Across all our programs, we prioritize the leadership of individuals and organizations that are trusted by the communities we serve. For some of our programs, this means partnering with high-impact organizations. Prior to partnership, we rigorously assess the quality of their existing programs, and the impact of their initiatives. We then conduct in-depth due diligence on their operational capacity and fiduciary responsibility prior to any partnership. Meet Our Partners.
Establishing Best Practices
Sexual and reproductive health is a sensitive topic for anyone, but often even more so for communities experiencing forcible displacement. Through our community-informed research, and our advisors and staff of experts, we ensure each program implementation approach undertaken will be the most effective, engaging, safe, and comfortable for the communities we serve.
Determining Project Costs
For The Unmentionables, project costs include more than just the cost of classes and contraceptives. Our Livelihood and Empowerment approach means including the training costs and salaries for our Educators and Focal Points, establishing safe and comfortable spaces for our beneficiaries to learn, and the support of other field staff in management and support roles.
Implementing Work Plans
Our teams are in for the long haul. Our programs are designed to be implemented over years, rather than months, but that doesn't stop us from being committed to well-laid plans. We spend months ensuring our Educators and Focal Points are rigorously trained, promoting safe sexual and reproductive health practices, and building community capacity for program management.
PROGRAM MAINTENANCE & LEARNING
Committing to Sustainability
Our Livelihood and Empowerment approaches mean that from day 1, each of our projects has a plan in place for the growth of community capacity for program management. Through our quarterly monitoring and evaluation commitments, we are able to determine learning and management gaps, structure training and new programming to meet them, and ultimately, ensure our Educators and Focal Points' abilities to be leaders in sexual and reproductive health initiatives for their communities in the future.
Monitoring and Evaluation
As a learning organization, we know there is always room for improvement and we are committed to consistently improving our programs and initiatives. Understanding what we are doing well and where our gaps are ultimately helps us do better work. Our Programs team undertakes quarterly monitoring and evaluation of our programs to ensure we are meeting and exceeding our goals.
Our team is made up of social impact enthusiasts and data nerds. As a result, our top priority is making sure we are open and transparent about the work we do and the impact it has. Through our interactive website, supporters can see the overall and programmatic impacts we have. We update our impact statistics based on monitoring and evaluation efforts that occur each month across our programs.