News & Views

From Our Partners

Rights-Based Family Planning: Importance of Increased Access

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 that convenes 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 author and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at

Two weeks ago, I observed a focus group in Lusaka, Zambia, where a moderator from a South African marketing agency spoke with eight young women about their views on contraception. Joined by a local researcher, a program manager, and marketers, I watched the session next door through a live television feed. Our goal was to get a head start on the development of marketing strategies for new contraceptive products—a project funded by USAID. In that small room in the Lusaka office building, we huddled around the television listening to these women’s opinions about different contraceptive options, hoping to understand how they make decisions about which methods to use and how the public health community can better meet their needs.

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From Our Partners

UNFPA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Boost Family Planning in Developing Countries

UNFPA and the Gates Foundation announced a partnership to help expand access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives such as injectables and implants. The organizations will use mobile and information technologies and social media to expand method choice and availability and address social, cultural, and gender barriers to family planning information, contraceptives, and services, particularly for young people. Read the release on the FP2020 website.

From Our Partners

When Words Aren’t Enough: Who’s Holding Governments Accountable on Rights?

Population Action International’s (PAI) advocacy associate, Kim Ocheltree, blogged about a panel event organized by the Population Council on human rights-based approaches to family planning. The panel was moderated by Council vice president John Townsend. Speakers included the Council’s Karen Hardee, as well as Pamela Barnes (President and CEO, EngenderHealth), Suzanne Ehlers (President and CEO, PAI), and Françoise Girard (President, International Women’s Health Coalition). A conceptual framework encouraging voluntary family planning programs to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights (developed by The Futures Group and EngenderHealth, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) was published in the Population Council journal, Studies in Family Planning, and can be accessed here.