News & Views

Press Releases

Studies in Family Planning: “Aligning Goals, Intents, and Performance Indicators in Family Planning Service Delivery”

NEW YORK (10 March 2015) — In the March 2015 issue of Studies in Family Planning, a commentary by Population Council social scientists Saumya RamaRao and Anrudh K. Jain contends that many promising family planning initiatives will meet their service delivery goals only if measures of performance are in line with the underlying intent of the initiatives.

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Council Commentary

BALIKA: Building Assets for Bangladeshi Girls

Two out of three girls in Bangladesh are married as children. Through the BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents) project, the Population Council and partners are evaluating approaches—including building skills for modern livelihoods—to prevent child marriage and improve life opportunities for girls in rural Bangladesh.

A new report outlines baseline findings on the lives of girls in the BALIKA study areas. Drawings by girls in BALIKA illustrate the real-life challenges they face and the opportunities the program provides them.

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Council Commentary

Investing in the Poorest Girls in the Poorest Communities Early Enough to Make a Difference

Investing in the Poorest Girls in the Poorest Communities Early Enough to Make a Difference

For decades, the Population Council has generated the evidence to demonstrate that adolescent girls are a neglected population with great potential for galvanizing global development and implemented successful programs to build girls’ assets. Read a new commentary from Council senior associate and policy analyst Judith Bruce on the Council’s evidence and approach.

Council Commentary

The Need for Safe and Effective HIV Prevention for Women

Providing women and girls with products, information, and support to stay safe from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is a key priority of the Population Council’s biomedical, social science, and public health research. Women, especially young women and girls, are at high risk for HIV infection in many parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV. Globally, AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

Recent findings from a number of HIV prevention studies have reinforced the urgent need to evaluate and introduce a range of HIV prevention products that fit the real-life needs of women and girls. These findings draw attention to what has long been a central tenet of Population Council research efforts: To be effective, HIV prevention products must also be accessible and easy to use. We are committed to developing HIV prevention products that address the complexities of women’s lives around the world.

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Media Coverage

“Underage Brides Are Everywhere”

The New York Times documents child marriage in Guatemalan villages, where about 53% of women age 20–24 marry before age 18, and 13% before age 15, according to Population Council research cited in the report.

Reporting and photography by journalist Stephanie Sinclair.

Media Coverage

Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting within a Generation

Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting within a Generation
Photo credit: Population Council

February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

FGM/C is a severe violation of girls’ and women’s human rights, may cause immediate and lifelong trauma, and has no health benefits. More than 120 million girls and women have already undergone FGM/C, and up to 30 million girls under age 15 are currently at risk.

Building on decades of research on FGM/C, the Population Council has received an award from the UK Department for International Development that will expand the Council’s comprehensive research agenda to illuminate the dynamics of FGM/C and generate empirical evidence on interventions to encourage its abandonment.

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From Our Partners

Addressing Child Marriage in Zambia

Forty-two percent of Zambian girls are married before they turn 18, robbing them of their education, health, and future.

A new short documentary by Girls Not Brides highlights how the Population Council is partnering with communities to empower adolescent girls.

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From Our Partners

Children by Choice, not Chance: Bayer’s Contribution to Sustainable Access to Contraceptives

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the authors, and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at klaus.brill@bayer.com.

The United Nations formulated it clearly: Family planning is a fundamental right of every human being. It is an important step toward breaking the cycle of poverty—for women, their families, and for their communities. Yet much remains to be done before the right to self-determined family planning can be fully realized. According to estimates, more than 220 million women in developing countries don’t wish to become pregnant, yet are not using modern contraception.

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Population Briefs

New Study Provides First Global Accounting of Urban Water Sources and Stress

New Study Provides First Global Accounting of Urban Water Sources and Stress

Most current and nearly all future population growth in the developing world will occur in cities. As cities become more populated, they will need more water. Today, many cities are "water stressed"—defined as currently using at least 40 percent of available water.

However, the news is not all grim. A new study, the first to accurately estimate global urban water sources and water stress in large cities, has found that past analyses substantially overestimated water stress

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Population Briefs

Client and Provider Perspectives on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Services in India

Client and Provider Perspectives on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Services in India

The Government of India has opened more than 6,000 adolescent-friendly health clinics across the country to increase services, particularly reproductive health services, for young people. However, few young people have used the services. In the Youth in India study, conducted in 2010 by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council, just seven percent of young men and three percent of young women reported ever receiving information on sexual matters from a health care provider. To understand the reasons for this circumstance, and to assist clinics in meeting the needs of intended clients, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asked the Population Council to assess the clinics from the perspectives of young people and health care providers in three states in India (Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan).

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