Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Population, Reproductive Health and Poverty

Progress towards goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health) of the millennium development goals (MDGs) has been generally slow in sub-Saharan Africa.  To meet these and other MDGs, sub-Saharan Africa’s best hope remains its vast and untapped Human Capital. Yet, about 4 million infants and children continue to die annually from preventable causes, whilst unchecked unintended pregnancy increasingly contributes to unsafe abortion and consequently poor maternal health outcomes. Emerging evidence asserts that the disparity in key family planning and sexual reproductive health indicators is widening, making it clear that our Human Capital has been and is under threat. We need to focus our efforts toward providing robust scientific evidence to guide crucial policy generation and implementation to curb the needless hemorrhage. In doing this we would not only have a fighting chance at meeting the MDGs but we would also have saved and positively impacted countless lives.

Current Project

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Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy- STEP UP

Program: Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

It is estimated that about 40 percent of all pregnancies in developing countries are unintended, that is, not wanted at all, or occurring at a time different than desired. Of these, almost one half result in an abortion, of which about 55 percent (or 21 million per year) are unsafe abortions, leading to an estimated 47,000 deaths per year.

To reduce the burden of unintended pregnancy, especially for poor and marginalized women, DFID is supporting the scaling up of access to family planning (FP) and safe abortion (SA) services. The Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP) Research Program Consortium (RPC) was created to respond to DFID’s Terms of Reference for a programme of research on “Meeting the Unmet Need for Family Planning and Improve Access to Safe Abortion.

The objective of the project is to generate policy-relevant research that promotes the use of an evidence-based approach for improving access to family planning (FP) and safe abortion in Kenya, Ghana and Senegal. As a result of this research, reproductive health programs will be strengthened and expanded so that they function more effectively and efficiently, increasing quality service coverage while they address women’s and men’s reproductive health rights and foster increased political commitment to maternal health. By the end of the project, the research will have developed and evaluated innovative service delivery and financing models to increase the range of options available to policymakers and programme managers.

Partner Institutions 

Project Period

  • January 2011 to December 2016

Resources

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