News & Views

Council Commentary

Bayer and Evidence Project launch new initiative

In partnership with Bayer, the Population-Council-led Evidence Project has launched a package of health information materials designed specifically for the workplace. Many workplaces depend on local public health departments or NGO partners for materials, and often when supplies run out, it is very difficult to obtain more. In order to address these issues, the Evidence Project and Bayer, designed the new materials to be easily accessible and easy to print at the workplace. These materials will also be adapted for mobile use making them accessible to those who use their smart phones to get information.

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Council Commentary

IWD 2016: Pursuing the Evidence, Pushing the Boundaries

Today there are close to 515 million in the developing world. Fifteen years ago, the Population Council’s landmark publication, The Uncharted Passage, demonstrated the key role these girls play in the health and development of their families, communities, and the world. The book also documented a gap in knowledge about girls’ lives and a lack of thoughtful evidence-based programs. The Council’s contributions galvanized efforts to gather evidence on ways to empower girls and enhance their lives.

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Council Commentary

Contraceptive Discontinuation: Understanding Unmet Need

More than 225 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. 

Among these women with current unmet need, about 38 percent have used modern contraception in the past but discontinued it. More than one-half of those women stop within two years.

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Council Commentary

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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Council Commentary

Population Council Mourns the Death of Family Planning Researcher Tapani Luukkainen

University of Helsinki researcher Tapani Luukkainen, who led the development of Mirena®, the highly effective levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (IUS) died on Monday, September 21. He was 86 years old.

Mirena was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2000 for contraception and later for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding.

As a member of the Council’s International Committee for Contraception Research, Dr. Luukkainen also pioneered research to identify innovative contraceptive methods for men and women and strengthened the capacity of clinical research centers in developed and developing countries. He was a giant in the field of contraceptive R&D, a patient yet demanding mentor to many young professionals, and an inspiration for those who hope to make a difference in women's lives through their vision and the quality of their work.

“The Population Council honors Dr. Luukkainen’s contributions to improving the health of women around the world,” said John Townsend, vice president and director of the Population Council’s Reproductive Health program. “We join with the reproductive health and family planning communities in celebrating his accomplishments and mourning his passing.”

Council Commentary

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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