News & Views

Ideas with Impact

Shaping family planning programs and policy in Bangladesh

When women have access to contraception everyone benefits. Women and children are healthier. Families and communities can invest more in education and health care. And poverty is reduced. Family planning should be a high policy priority and should be seen primarily in terms of its benefits to people’s health and rights, but also as an important investment in economic development and higher living standards.

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Ideas with Impact

Developing Products to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

Researchers around the world are working to develop new ways to stop a collection of diseases that infect more than a million people every day.  These infections cause serious, sometimes fatal complications including maternal and infant mortality, infertility or anogenital cancer, and can increase susceptibility to HIV.  Billions of people are at risk…but too often these diseases are either ignored, or regarded as unavoidable “facts of life.”

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Ideas with Impact

Ending Female Genital Cutting in a Generation

Five years ago, more than three million girls each year were at risk of undergoing genital cutting - part of a complex mix of norms and societal expectations. Today, due to growing populations and the fact that ever more countries are admitting to girls being cut, many more girls are at risk. 

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Ideas with Impact

A Recipe for Analyzing Fertility

I began my career with the Population Council in 1973, and in 2015 I retired as its president. One of the joys of working at the Council was being surrounded by public health and social science all-stars. Council researchers have changed the way the world thinks about important health and development issues and influenced policies and practice on family planning, the rights and health of girls, and population change. A highlight of my career has been seeing Population Council vice president and distinguished scholar John Bongaarts speak before standing-room-only-audiences in New York, New Delhi, and Addis Ababa. Like a small number of superstars in other professions, John can fill a hall in any of the world’s capital cities.

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Ideas with Impact

Pursuing Evidence to Uphold Girls’ Rights

With the largest generation of young people that the world has ever seen, and because of the grave cost that gender inequality extracts from their potential, the test of whether or not the next 15 years deliver sustainable development lies with the adolescent girl. She is the face of the future. Realizing her rights to dignity through access to health, keeping her safe and in school, and giving her critical information and a say in her own life will transform her future. Transforming her future means all of our futures are transformed.

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Ideas with Impact

Developing Highly Effective, Long-Acting, and Reversible Contraceptives

As a senior medical advisor for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, I know well the power that family planning can provide for women and couples. With effective contraception that meets their needs and lifestyles, women have the ability to freely decide whether to have children and, if so, when and how many.

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Ideas with Impact

Delivering Ideas, Evidence, and Solutions to Improve Lives

Since 1952, the Population Council has been changing the way the world thinks about critical health and development issues. Our biomedical, social science, and public health research in more than 50 countries tests ideas, generates evidence, and delivers solutions leading to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world.

The Council has a rich history. For more than 60 years, our data have driven decisionmaking. From the start we have given voice and visibility to the world’s most vulnerable people. We increase awareness of the problems they face and offer evidence-based solutions. Around the world, governments, civil society organizations, and international agencies seek our help to understand and overcome obstacles to improving health and promoting development. And we work with partners on every continent to use state-of-the-art biomedical science to develop new contraceptives and products to prevent the transmission of HIV

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