Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene

This guidance was developed for UNICEF WASH, Education, Health, and Gender specialists or focal points in country offices who are working with their partners to develop programmes related to menstrual health and hygiene (MHH).

In recognition of the inherently broad programming considerations of MHH, this guidance is also aimed at UNICEF colleagues from the cross-cutting clusters of Communications for Development, Adolescent Development and Participation, and Disability. While it is written from the perspective of a UNICEF staff member, it may also be useful for colleagues from other agencies who are working to advance menstrual health and hygiene at a national and sub-national level.

This document is guided by the priorities laid out in UNICEF’s Strategy for WASH 2016- 2030, Strategic Plan 2018-2021, and Gender Action Plan 2018-2021, and is intended to advance the realisation of the targets contained therein. As such, it focuses on the process of designing and supporting programmes from the vantage point of UNICEF, rather than detailed technical notes and descriptions of menstrual health and hygiene programmes. These detailed technical resources already exist and reference is made to them in each relevant section.

This guidance is structured into five sections:

Section 1: A global opportunity
This section explains the global interest in supporting MHH through development and
humanitarian programming under the SDGs.

Section 2: Programme design
This section articulates the principles underpinning UNICEF’s MHH programmes and
explains the process to support government leadership, carry out a situation analysis,
develop a theory of change, build an evidence base, estimate programme costs, and
assemble a team.

Section 3: Core package of interventions
This section provides and describes a framework of essential MHH interventions that
are inclusive of all menstruators and which reach the most underserved, with a focus on working through and strengthening national systems.

Section 4: MHH for girls and women in vulnerable situations
This section is not exhaustive but provides an overview of strategies to reach three
specific populations: girls and women with disabilities, girls and women in humanitarian action, and transgender or non-binary menstruators.

Section 5: Learning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation
This section provides an overview of the global monitoring and evaluation frameworks for MHH.

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