The Evidence Project uses implementation science to strengthen, scale up, and sustain family planning services to reduce unintended pregnancies worldwide.
Family planning is receiving a renewed focus by national governments, civil society, and the private sector. Such attention is particularly timely given high levels of unmet need: An estimated 220 million women don’t wish to become pregnant, yet are not using modern contraception. Achieving a significant reduction in unmet need and unintended pregnancies will require identifying and implementing evidence-informed approaches for expanding access to high-quality family planning and reproductive health services and to reducing barriers to contraceptive use.
The Evidence Project is using implementation science—the strategic generation, translation, and use of evidence—to improve family planning policies, programs, and practices. Led by the Population Council in partnership with INDEPTH Network, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Management Sciences for Health, PATH, Population Reference Bureau, and a University Resource Network, the project is investigating which strategies work best in improving, expanding, and sustaining family planning services. It is also evaluating how to implement and scale up those strategies. Critical to the Evidence Project is translating this knowledge and working with stakeholders to apply the evidence and to build capacity in using implementation science.
The Evidence Project is addressing such key challenges as:
- Strengthening and integrating health systems to provide family planning services;
- Diversifying markets and financing to better meet women's needs;
- Expanding the range and availability of contraceptives and other technologies to improve client choices and health outcomes; and
- Responding to rapidly changing social norms and contraceptive behaviors within specific contexts.
Attention to gender, equity, rights, and accountability underpins all of the Evidence Project’s activities.
Through implementation science, the Evidence Project will pinpoint how family planning and reproductive health services can operate more effectively, equitably, and at scale. It will highlight and address barriers to contraceptive access and use. Working with stakeholders, the project will foster the application of this evidence to health systems, with the goal of improving service delivery and access to vital information and contraceptives—critical elements for reducing unmet need and unintended pregnancies around the world.