Does men’s involvement in SRH increase their power over their female partners or does it actually help to empower women? What is the impact of involving men in areas that have traditionally been the domain of women, such as childcare, pregnancy and fertility control? In response to these critical queries, this paper assesses the impact of men’s involvement in SRH programs by providing a meta-analysis of published evaluations of SRH interventions targeting heterosexual men since the 1990s. 26 eligible intervention studies were evaluated and categorised along the thematic areas of men’s involvement in avoidance of unwanted pregnancy, women’s reproductive health, violence prevention and promotion of fatherhood. Descriptions of the interventions including the program strategy, regions implemented, the model of the program, the organisation responsible, project beneficiaries and methodology of and findings from the program evaluation are provided.
The review concludes that there are few published evaluations of interventions engaging men in SRH, which may be related to a lack of funding for programs promoting men’s SRH. The authors stress the need for interventions to more adequately assess if men’s involvement in SRH promotion empowers women, to better understand the impact of men’s involvement in programs on the lives of the male beneficiaries, and to be based on cultural understandings of sexuality and gender. Although the authors note that a lack of detailed information on the theoretical basis of interventions makes it difficult to assess the efficacy of one particular approach, strategies to engage men that seemed to be particularly effective are presented. The authors conclude that the evidence supports that men generally want to be involved in SRH and respond positively to interventions seeking to engage them.