News & Views

State of the World’s Mothers

“Lifesaving health care may be only a stone’s throw away, but the poorest mothers and children often cannot get the care they need.”

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Save the Children has published State of the World’s Mothers 2015. The report spotlights the massive health disparities between wealthy and poor women living in cities.

And learn more about Population Council’s decades of work to improve the health and lives of mothers around the globe.

Press Releases

Global Investment, Health Experts Join Population Council Board of Trustees

The Population Council announces the appointment of two board members, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and founding director of the Center for Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, Karachi; and Darcy Bradbury, managing director of the D. E. Shaw group. Bhutta and Bradbury will assume their roles on July 1, 2015.

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Population Briefs

Making Sexuality and HIV Education Programs More Effective

Making Sexuality and HIV Education Programs More Effective
Photo credit: Population Council

A new analysis by Population Council researcher Nicole Haberland provides powerful evidence that sexuality and HIV education programs addressing gender and power in intimate relationships are far more likely to be effective than programs that do not. The research appears in the March 2015 issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, published by the Guttmacher Institute.

Adolescents in the United States and around the world face significant reproductive health challenges, including high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people in the United States aged 15–24 account for half of all new sexually transmitted infections. Globally, young people in this age range account for 40 percent of all new HIV infections, according to UNAIDS.

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Population Briefs

Creating a Database of HIV Prevention Clinical Trial Terminology and Translations

Creating a Database of HIV Prevention Clinical Trial Terminology and Translations

The Population Council recently launched a database of HIV-prevention clinical trial terminology in multiple languages. Translations in Context: A Database of HIV Prevention Terminology and Translation—available at lexicon.popcouncil.org—is the first of its kind. Designed to reduce the duplication of translation efforts in the field of HIV research, it is an open access, searchable database available to anyone with internet access. The database contains translations for hundreds of HIV prevention terms in seven languages (English, Setswana, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Xhosa, Zulu). The goal of the database is to assist the process of fielding new HIV studies, since clear and correct translations are both important and costly. 

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Population Briefs

Developing a Highly Acceptable Contraceptive Vaginal Ring

New research finds the Population Council’s one-year contraceptive vaginal ring is highly acceptable to women. Researchers developed and tested a framework for assessing women’s satisfaction with contraceptive vaginal rings. In addition to assessing the acceptance of the Council’s ring, the study showed the framework to be an accurate method for assessing women’s satisfaction with contraceptive vaginal rings in general. 

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Population Briefs

Reducing Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability to Sexual Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Reducing Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability to Sexual Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

A recent Population Council study in Uganda has demonstrated that addressing girls’ financial needs—such as giving them access to savings accounts—without simultaneously addressing their social and health needs could increase their chances of experiencing sexual harassment.

Adolescent girls living in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to many core community resources, including banks, health clinics, and safe places to meet with friends. They also face high rates of gender-based violence, are at greater risk for unsafe sex that can lead to unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection, and have limited economic resources and income-generating opportunities. Evidence suggests that equipping the most marginalized girls and young women with basic assets—skills, knowledge, and resources—will help them become productive, safe, and successful adults. 

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Cheikh Mbacké Named 2015 Laureate of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population

The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) has named Population Council trustee Cheikh Mbacké 2015 Laureate, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of population sciences and distinguished service rendered to the IUSSP.

The Laureate Ceremony will take place at the upcoming annual meeting of the Population Association of America, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Wednesday, 29 April 2015, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in Sapphire 411.

Mbacké is honored in particular for his contributions to research in the area of population and health policies and his support of the emergence of a community of African population researchers. While at the Rockefeller Foundation in Nairobi, Mbacké encouraged the development of the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), which was established by the Population Council in 1995 with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. One of the most dynamic population research institutes in Africa and the winner of the 2015 United Nations Population Award, the APHRC continues to offer training to new generations of population researchers.

Council Commentary

Population Council Mourns the Loss of Family Planning Champion Valerie DeFillipo

Over a career that spanned decades, Valerie was a true leader and champion for women’s and girls’ reproductive health and rights. As founding executive director of Family Planning 2020 and throughout her career, she worked to ensure that the initiative has flourished and grown into a dynamic global movement. The Population Council extends its condolences to Valerie’s family, friends, and colleagues. She will be greatly missed.

“Valerie’s energy, style, and willingness to engage made all the difference in many people’s lives, particularly those who found themselves most vulnerable and forgotten,” said John Townsend, vice president and director of the Population Council’s Reproductive Health program. “She will be remembered and celebrated.”   

More from FP2020: Family Planning 2020 Saddened by the Loss of Founding Executive Director Valerie DeFillipo  

From Our Partners

If Young Girls Had Access to Small Savings Accounts Would They Be More Likely to Stay in School?

This post is part of a blog series on evidence generated through the Population Council’s RISING program. RISING uses implementation science, evidence review, and organizational grants to build knowledge about what works in adolescent girls programming. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Population Council. Please direct any questions to Shelley Clark.

It’s been encouraging over the past generation to see a new emphasis on education, and particularly girls’ education, as a priority in development programs. But even with ambitious initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals, this emphasis is mostly on primary education. Real progress in girls’ primary education hasn’t been matched by progress at higher levels. In Ghana, for example, while nearly all girls now complete primary school, only 20 percent earn their diplomas from secondary school.

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