Ian Askew is the director of Reproductive Health Services and Research at the Population Council and is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Askew provides executive direction for the Council’s research and technical assistance initiatives that strengthen innovative reproductive and maternal health programs globally. Askew coordinates activities that increase access to sexual and reproductive health services, reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, ensure that new technologies are responsive to people’s needs, and mobilize public-private sector partnerships.
Askew joined the Council in 1990 as an associate in the Council’s office in Senegal.
From 2006 to 2008, Askew directed the Frontiers in Reproductive Health Operations Research Program (FRONTIERS) and collaborated with USAID and its cooperating agencies, as well as with donors, governments, private-sector institutions, and NGOs in Africa, Asia and the Near East, and Latin America and the Caribbean. From 1999 to 2006, Askew served as associate director for FRONTIERS in sub-Saharan Africa. Askew previously served as project director for the Africa Operations Research and Technical Assistance Project. In this role, he directed a five-year USAID-funded program that supported more than 70 reproductive health projects and technical assistance activities in 13 sub-Saharan African countries. These efforts resulted in the implementation of the Community Health and Family Planning Project at the Navrongo field station in Ghana; the establishment of the Situation Analysis approach as a standard program evaluation tool; expanded interest in addressing FGM/C; and development of substantial evidence on service integration, community-based services, and postabortion care.
From 2002 to 2008, Askew was the country director for the Council’s office in Kenya, and from 2009 to 2012 was the acting country director for Senegal. Before joining the Council, Askew served as deputy director of the Institute of Population Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, where he led the Institute’s capacity-building program in applied population research and research on community participation.
Askew participates in multiple technical advisory groups, steering committees, and review boards. He is the leader of the Market Development Approaches Working Group for the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) and a member of the Executive Committee for the RHSC. He is a member of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability Working Group of FP2020 and the Inter-Agency Working Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV and AIDS Linkages. Askew frequently participates in expert group meetings of the World Health Organization on reproductive health topics, and he serves on the Research Project Review Panel of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Askew is currently the co-director of the Council-led consortium for Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP), which is funded by DFID and functions in multiple countries.
Askew has a PhD in sociology from the University of Exeter, and a master’s degree from York University in Canada. He has published widely and is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops around the world.