News & Views

Press Releases

Medicines360 and the Population Council Pursue Agreement to Develop Product to Prevent HIV and Unintended Pregnancy for Worldwide Distribution

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK, NY (December 1, 2021) – Medicines360, a mission-driven nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical organization, and the Population Council, a global nonprofit research organization, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a dual prevention pill (DPP) product to prevent both pregnancy and HIV in a single tablet – for global distribution. The organizations intend to expedite the development, regulatory, and manufacturing pathways of one of the newest multi-purpose prevention technologies (MPTs) specifically for women. The organizations are seeking philanthropic support for product development, and clinical and regulatory work to bring the product to market.

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Council Commentary

Population Council Welcomes Carmencita Whonder as New Trustee

Population Council Welcomes Carmencita Whonder as New Trustee

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (November 29, 2021)—The Population Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Carmencita Whonder to its Board of Trustees.  

Carmencita brings a wealth of expertise, particularly in finance and public policy, as well as experience working globally across multiple disciplines. She is currently policy director at Brownstein Hyatt Faber Schreck, the leading lobbying and law firm in the U.S. An expert in financial services and housing finance policy, she also regularly represents clients from these industries before the U.S. Congress, White House, and international financial institutions. She advises Fortune 500 companies, startup CEOs, executive teams, and boards of directors on public policy, regulatory affairs, product development, strategic communications, crisis and risk management, corporate philanthropy, and diversity and inclusion. 

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Council Commentary

The Population Council Joins BankFWD to Accelerate the Banking Sector’s Alignment with Global Climate Goals by Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Finance

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) ended over the weekend with agreements that fall short of its goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C – needed if we are to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. While the Glasgow Climate Pact produced numerous positive climate policies and commitments, their collective impact (if current pledges are fulfilled) is only estimated to limit global warming to 2.4°C – an increase that would be catastrophic to people and the planet. To keep the possibility of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C, the world must now implement and surpass its latest COP26 commitments with increased national, sub-national, and institutional climate action.

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Council Commentary

New Website for Policy-Relevant Population Modeling Essential for Equitable Climate Action

Predicting changes in populations—their size, distribution, movement, and demographics—is becoming a core element of climate research. It is especially vital for understanding issues of equity and justice in relation to our growing climate crisis. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of a brand-new website, the Community Demographic Model (CDM). CDM is a product of the Population Council’s initiative on Population, Environmental Risks, and the Climate Crisis (PERCC). The new website is freely available to everyone with an internet connection, giving the global climate science community access to one of the most detailed, complex, dynamic, and policy-relevant population modeling tools in the world.

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Council Commentary

New Review of Research on Interventions to End FGM from Population Council Kenya, UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO

Population Council, Kenya, in partnership with UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and World Health Organization (WHO) has published the first-ever global review of evidence on the "Effectiveness of Interventions Designed to Prevent or Respond to Female Genital Mutilation." Despite intensified efforts to build a global evidence base to inform strategies addressing female genital mutilation (FGM), there has been limited rigorous, high-quality evidence on what set of interventions are most effective in ending the harmful practice. This report conveys key findings on the quality and strength of existing evidence on FGM interventions from 2008 to 2020.  

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Council Commentary

Sharing Progress on the Population Council’s Agenda for Change

In June 2020, the Population Council joined organizations around the world to condemn incidents of racial violence, police violence, and racism toward Black Americans and asserted our intolerance for silence and inaction. We made a commitment—to our ourselves, our colleagues, our partners and peers, our donors, and the individuals and communities with whom we work—to undertake the hard work of looking inward and examining what more we could and should be doing to create a more just and equitable world both in the work we do and in how we operate. The following month, based on discussions with Council colleagues in the US and our international offices, we launched our Agenda for Change—setting out actions we will take to become an antiracist organization and address wider issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The Agenda for Change commits us to embrace antiracist principles and actions; to build a strong culture grounded in DEI; to continue efforts to decentralize our global efforts to better respond to the needs of the populations we serve; and to ensure our evidence and analysis continue to influence those who have the power and resources to improve the lives of the poorest and most marginalized populations around the world. 

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Press Releases

New Study Challenges the Link Between Access to Menstrual Health Products and Improved Education Outcomes

An exciting, new study from the Population Council’s Kenya office and Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center tested the assumption that sanitary pads would improve girls’ education outcomes and ultimately found that distribution of sanitary pads did not in fact impact school attendance, performance, or the transition to secondary school, contrary to popular belief. However, the adolescent health education curriculum component of the intervention did indeed improve attitudes regarding reproductive health, demonstrating increased pride and comfort about menstruation, as well as enhanced knowledge of reproductive health, endorsement of equitable gender norms, and general self-confidence.   

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Press Releases

Dr. Karen Austrian appointed as Director of the Population Council’s Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (September 14, 2021) – The Population Council is thrilled to announce the appointment of our colleague Dr. Karen Austrian as the Director of the Council’s Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center – a global research hub that generates, synthesizes, and translates evidence on adolescents to support investments that transform their lives, especially for girls.  

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Council Commentary

In Memoriam: Former Population Council President George Zeidenstein (July 29, 1929 – August 21, 2021)

The Population Council mourns the passing of George Zeidenstein, the Council’s fifth President, who died on August 21, 2021 aged 92 in Goshen, Connecticut. Zeidenstein leaves behind a powerful legacy from his long tenure as Population Council President from 1976 to 1992; his contributions continue to influence our work and our field today. Zeidenstein was instrumental in shaping the Council’s long-standing mission of promoting access to broader sexual and reproductive health services and technological innovations and to ensuring that quality services be focused on meeting the needs of the populations facing the greatest vulnerability.

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Press Releases

New Report Details Impact of COVID-19 on Adolescents in Kenya

NEW YORK, NY (July 13, 2021) – Research conducted by the Population Council in Kenya and published in a new report by Kenya’s Presidential Policy and Strategy Unit (PASU) shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent girls and boys in Kenya. The report, “Promises to Keep: Impact of COVID-19 on Adolescents in Kenya," points to the critical need for bold action to address school dropout, adolescent pregnancies, lost learning momentum, violence and other negative consequences of the pandemic on the lives of adolescents in Kenya.

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