Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Population Growth and Environmental Change

The Center has developed a robust and multifaceted evidence base about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, with special attention to young people. Our research has also provided understanding of what works to
increase uptake of modern contraceptives within high-fertility communities, and has informed debate around unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion.

The Center has also generated evidence on drivers of sexual violence and contributed to innovations in how to address sexual violence among refugee populations. Our work is exploring how poor men express their masculinity as breadwinners with few options for employment, and how they might become champions in the global struggle for gender equality.

A deeper understanding of contexts, drivers, experiences and preferences for family planning remains. Understanding SRHR throughout the life course is critical to many health and development pathways, as is improved understanding of population dynamics and their implications for sustainable development: specifically, the realization of the demographic dividend.

There are four areas of inquiry in this Unit, aiming to promote sustainable population growth and improved sexual and reproductive health and rights across the life course:

The signature issue for the Unit will be young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). We will focus in particular on early adolescents (10-14 years) and those from marginalized communities, and the magnitude and impact of adverse SRH events on adolescent health and wellbeing. We will aim to clarify the contexts for comprehensive sexuality education, including SRHR/ FP counseling for adolescents. This program will also generate
evidence about what works to reach youth with safe, respectful and comprehensive SRHR information and services.

The second signature issue for this Unit will be unsafe abortion. We will aim to understand the contexts and dynamics of unsafe abortion, family planning, and contraceptive behaviors; deepen our understanding of the mortality and morbidity associated with unsafe abortion; and assess the impact of unsafe abortion prevention programs and barriers to quality post abortion care. We will contribute to knowledge on drivers, experiences and preferences among populations for the array of options for family planning, and illuminate pathways for optimizing the provision and sustainability of services, including financing and delivery options.

The third program of work will address gender and sexuality-related vulnerabilities. Assessing the magnitude and perceptions of gender-based violence will drive this programmatic area, including identification of where
men and boys might engage in promoting women’s SRHR. The program will also seek to clarify the origins and implications of gender ideologies and practices, including masculinity.

The Unit will spearhead efforts to contribute to the discourse around the Demographic Dividend. We will seek to understand population dynamics, including regional and intra-regional fertility, mortality and migration trends,
and their implications for sustainable development and how to position Africa to achieve the demographic dividend.

Featured Project


African Strategies for Health Project

Program: Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

The African Strategies for Health (ASH) Project is a five-year project funded by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Africa Bureau (AFR/B). It is being implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in partnership with African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Khulisa Management Services, and Institut pour la Santé et le Développement (ISED), of Dakar University, Senegal.

ASH’s mandate is to assist AFR/B to work with African institutions, other development partners and partners within the USG to provide a strategic vision for guiding investments to further the health of Africans. The project conducts reviews, assessments and dialogues with partners working in the field to improve the understanding of constraints impeding the realization of the vision and the reaching of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the goals of the Global Health Initiative (GHI).

In April 2016, the project produced a video on addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of urban youth. The video, ‘African Strategies for Health: Meeting the Needs of Urban Youth’, premièred at the Knowledge Management Share Fair in Arusha, Tanzania. You can watch it here.

Partner Institutions

  • Management Sciences for Health (MSH)
  • University of Dakar
  • Khulisa Management Services

Project Period

  • October 2011 to September 2016


Project Funders

  • usaid

    www.usaid.gov ...


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