Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Family Planning, Fertility and Population Growth

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

Assessing the Implementation of Sexuality Education Policies and Curricula in Kenya

Program: Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Making comprehensive sexuality education available for young people is essential for ensuring their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is particularly essential in low and middle income countries (LMICs) like Kenya where the levels of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual violence among the youth are high. Various initiatives have been taken in Kenya to implement and strengthen sexuality education in the national curriculum, but the situation of teaching sexuality education in schools is poorly understood and faced with a lot of controversies. Previous research indicates that various constraints such as restrictions on what topics can be covered, heavy teaching loads, teachers’ inadequate training, lack of community support, and limited funding impede proper implementation.

The goal of the study is to conduct a comprehensive and large-scale analysis of policies and curricula for formal and non-formal sexuality education programs in Kenya.

Quantitative data will be collected from principals, teachers, and students in 80 secondary schools in Nairobi, Mombasa and Homa Bay counties. In-depth interviews will also be conducted with policymakers, program planners, national level advocates, civil society organizations and local community organizations. Data collected from this survey will be complemented with secondary analysis of available data from LMICs, in order to achieve a global picture of the provision of sexuality education in resource-limited contexts. The information gathered in this study is intended to help the Kenyan government better understand realities in schools and to ultimately improve the quality of comprehensive sexuality education offered in schools.


Partner Institutions

  • Guttmacher Institute


Project Period

  • January 2014 – December 2016


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