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  • Blog post

    This blog post originally appeared on IntraHealth's blog Vital

    A nurse discusses family planning options with a client at the Mathare North Health Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

    A nurse discusses family planning options with a client at the Mathare North Health Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International. 

    “Family planning saves lives, and women want it.”

    My Nigerian colleagues summed up the success of a group of family planning projects to this simple reason. They’re right. It’s not complicated. When given the option, women choose contraceptives. Our job as reproductive health advocates and family planning program managers is to make sure all women have the option.

  • Blog post
    ©2008, Photo courtesy of Ian Freimuth via Flickr Creative Commons

    Sustainable Development Goal 10 is to reduce inequality within and among countries. ©2008, Photo courtesy of Ian Freimuth via Flickr Creative Commons

    You’d think that as a nation grows wealthier, its population would grow happier, right? A story that aired recently on National Public Radio (NPR) cautioned that the relationship between global development and happiness is not so simple. Shige Oishi, a researcher at the University of Virginia, cited the U.S. as an example—our gross domestic product (GDP) has risen much faster than our collective level of happiness. What else was rising even more quickly than our GDP? Income inequality.

    It makes sense. After all, what’s harder: struggling to meet your family’s basic needs alongside your neighbors who are doing the same—or struggling to meet your family’s basic needs while seeing others enjoy excesses of wealth that are completely out of your reach?

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

    A health worker in Nairobi provides family planning information to a client.

    A health worker in Nairobi provides family planning information to a client. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

    So often when we sing the praises of family planning, we go straight to applauding its health benefits: all the healthier babies and children, the hundreds of thousands of women who survive childbirth, and the millions of abortions prevented.

    Family planning has changed the world for us all over the past few decades. But better health isn't the only advantage. There's another, though we in the global health field have often been hesitant about lauding it too loudly.

    I'm talking about the relationship between family planning to prosperity.

  • Blog post
    "Yellow Flower" logo launch
    The Ugandan Ministry of Health booth promotes family planning at the "Yellow Flower" logo launch. © 1993 Center for Communication Programs, Courtesy of Photoshare

    The international community is abuzz with excitement about the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Officially being launched this month, the aims laid out are more ambitious and all encompassing than ever before. As such, they’ve generated an expectedly broad, diverse, and loud chorus of suggestions for their implementation. Everyone seems on the hunt for the best new idea or technology to carry the agenda forward. Yet after decades of work and untold millions of dollars in investments in research and ideas, surely we must know something useful today that could be put to good use? Perhaps while smartly pursuing innovations that keep pace with our changing world, we can also put some real investment behind some of even the simplest things that we already know to be true, and which might just need a little more traction before we can finally benefit from their full potential impact.

  • Blog post

    "My HIV doctors have been my greatest supporters when it comes to the choices I have around children and pregnancy. They have armed me with information, giving me the courage to make informed and correct decisions for myself and my partner."1 — Anonymous, Uganda 

    Women living with HIV wait in line at a family planning clinic
    Women living with HIV waiting in line at a family planning clinic. Source - FHI 360.

    Advancing the reproductive health and rights of all women, including those living with HIV, is one of the many benefits of delivering integrated family planning (FP) and HIV services. By utilizing multiple service delivery entry points, integration allows clients of HIV services to more easily access FP and safe pregnancy services and realize their fertility intentions and exercise their reproductive rights.

    Given the importance of FP/HIV integration in addressing HIV worldwide, USAID’s Global Health eLearning Center is pleased to announce the release of the updated Family Planning and HIV Service Integration Course. Based on the most current evidence available, the course explains the benefits of integrating family planning (FP) into HIV services, addresses FP/HIV integration from a health systems perspective, and covers contraception for HIV-positive women and couples with a focus on reproductive rights. The course also emphasizes how HIV care providers can help clients make informed reproductive health decisions and access appropriate care, including voluntary FP and safe conception and pregnancy services.

  • Blog post
    3rd annual Ouagadougou Partnership meeting
    Ouagadougou Partnership member country representatives, partners, and stakeholders at the 3rd annual meeting in Paris, December 2014. Courtesy of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit

    This year is an exciting one for celebrating contraceptive access in Francophone West Africa—2015 marks the fifth year since nine governments (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo, and Senegal), civil society organizations, and donors created the Ouagadougou Partnership and committed to improving family planning access in their region. Their goal is to add one million new contraceptive users by the end of this year.

    Although countries may define a “new user” in different terms (for example, first-time user of family planning, new user of a long term method), the definition used by Track20 (a project implemented by Avenir Health to track progress of the global FP2020 initiative) is clear. New users include the number of additional women (or their partners) of reproductive age currently using a modern contraceptive method compared to 2012. In just three short years, these countries will have achieved their goal by providing vastly improved family planning information and access to an adequate contraceptive method mix.

  • Blog post
    Costed Implementation Plans: Strengthening investments in family planning

    Many countries have already made important commitments and set ambitious family planning goals to improve the health and lives of women, their families, and communities through the development and implementation of Comprehensive Costed Implementation Plans (CIPs).

  • Blog post

    De nombreux pays ont déjà pris des engagements importants et se sont fixé des objectifs ambitieux en matière de planification familiale afin d’améliorer la santé et le bien-être des femmes, de leurs familles et communautés à travers l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de plans d’action chiffrés (PAC) complets.

  • Blog post
    Pope Francis blessing children

    Photo by Barbara Kindlinger. This image is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

    From September 22 to 27, crowds of millions are expected across Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia in hopes of catching a mere glimpse of a global icon: Pope Francis.

    This marks the Pope’s first official visit to the U.S., and it is bound to be one of the most widely anticipated events of the year. The city of Philadelphia alone is preparing to receive over two million visitors.

    It just so happens that Pope Francis’ highly publicized U.S. visit coincides with World Contraception Day. Taking place annually on September 26, World Contraception Day is a global campaign supported by a coalition of 12 international NGOs, governmental organizations, and medical and scientific societies. It was first observed in 2007 in an effort to raise public awareness of all available contraceptive methods and to enable people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on the Data Viz Hub.


    Have you ever seen an infographic that was beautiful, but didn’t have a clear message?

    Or wade through a bunch of tables but struggle to see any meaningful patterns and trends?

    Ever see a chart you thought was terrible, but couldn’t figure out how to fix it?