From Our Journals

Victoria Boydell, Mahesh Karra, and Francis Obare Appointed Editors of Studies in Family Planning

The Population Council is pleased to announce Dr. Victoria Boydell, Dr. Mahesh Karra, and Dr. Francis Obare as new Editors of Studies in Family Planning (SFP)

Victoria Boydell is a Lecturer in Global Public Health in the School of Health and Social Care at University of Essex. Her work focuses on the intersection between social science and sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, with an emphasis on how to embed subjective and lived experience into policies and programming to improve rights, dignity, well-being and health. She has published widely on sexual and reproductive health, and rights and justice, including the edited volumes Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders and Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse: Expanding Reproductive Studies. Dr Boydell has served on expert committees for civil society, research institutions and the private sector. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders. Dr. Boydell received her doctorate in anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mahesh Karra is an Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and the Associate Director of the Human Capital Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center. His academic and research interests are broadly in development economics, health economics, quantitative methods, and applied demography. His research utilizes experimental and non-experimental methods to investigate the relationships between population, health, and economic development. He has conducted field work in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, and his current research uses randomized controlled trials to evaluate the health and economic effects of improving access to family planning and maternal and child health services. He has also worked for the Population Reference Bureau and the Futures Group International and served as a consultant to the World Bank, the WHO, and the Population Council. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Hispanic Studies from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Economics from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and an Sc.D. in Global Health Economics from Harvard University.

Francis Obare is an Associate at the Population Council. A social scientist with a background in demography and population studies, he has for nearly two decades designed and conducted research studies on access to sexual and reproductive health services, health care financing, and HIV/AIDS with a specific focus on sub-Saharan Africa. He has designed and implemented formative, cross-sectional, longitudinal, intervention, evaluation and secondary analysis studies on topics ranging from the introduction of new health technologies and access to reproductive health services among vulnerable groups, including adolescents and the poorest segments of the population, to the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents living with HIV. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles, including in Demography, Population Studies, Social Science & Medicine, Health Policy and Planning, Population and Development Review, and Studies in Family Planning. He has served on the editorial board of BMC Women’s Health journal and is a member of the Union for African Population Studies, the Population Association of America, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Thoai Ngô, Vice President of Social and Behavioral Science Research at the Population Council, notes: “Vicky, Mahesh, and Frances were selected from a diverse pool of applicants for their intellect, enthusiasm, and compelling points of view on Studies’ present and future. Their appointments mark the first time a Council journal has had three editors, and we are excited to see them take the helm. Since 2017 SFP has benefitted immensely from the thoughtful leadership and editorial acumen of outgoing Editor Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer. As we welcome the new editors, I also want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for years of excellent work.”

The search for new editors was announced in an open call, allowing for candidate nominations and self-nominations. The call was part of the Council’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for its journals.

Studies in Family Planning publishes public health, social science, and biomedical research with a primary focus on low- and middle-income countries. The journal accepts submissions in sexual and reproductive health, fertility, family planning, HIV/AIDS, abortion, maternal/child health, and related topics.

SFP's first issue was published in 1963. For almost sixty years, peer-reviewed research in the journal has played a pivotal role in shaping the field and building the evidence base for improving policy and practice. The journal's current impact factor is 4.314. Last year Studies' papers were downloaded more than 200,000 times.