March 2019

  • Linking Family Planning and Global Development

    Kristen P. Patterson

    Population Reference Bureau | Program Director, People, Health, Planet
    Tuungane Tanzania Cheryl Margoluis

    The Tuungane project in western Tanzania was a perfect match for the Evidence Project’s research because the social and environmental challenges facing local communities along the forested shores of Lake Tanganyika provide a good case study for examining resilience. Photo: © Cheryl Margoluis, Pathfinder International.

    The development community’s interest in enhancing the resilience of individuals, households, and communities in lower- and middle-income countries so they can better contend with environmental and human-made shocks and stress is growing. While good health at the population and individual level, and the ability to space and plan births, are thought to contribute to resilience, existing resilience-building frameworks have largely ignored the role of population dynamics. The potential contributions of family planning to resilience have remained unknown—until now. Newly published research on a project in western Tanzania provides evidence that family planning is positively associated with multiple components of resilience.

  • Simone Parrish

    CCP | Global Repository Director

    NOTE DATE CHANGE! This course was previously announced for June 18-20. The dates have changed to June 17-19. Apologies for any confusion or inconvenience.

  • Stephanie Desmon

    CCP | Director, Public Relations and Marketing

    This post originally appeared on the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) blog.

    A comprehensive program to prevent maternal mortality by strengthening public and private health networks in Uganda and Zambia led to a dramatic reduction in deaths, suggest new findings published March 14 in Global Health: Science and Practice’s supplement on “Saving Mothers, Giving Life.”

  • Contraceptive Security

    David Olson

    Olson Global Communications | Principal
    DKT Brazil Carnaval Prudence promotion

    DKT Brazil promotes its Prudence condoms during Carnaval in São Paulo the first week of March. This approach is typical of DKT Brazil's successful technique of promoting condoms for fun, and not for protection and responsibility. Photo: DKT Brazil

    SÃO PAULO, Brazil — In 1991, a non-profit social marketing organization set out to make condoms accessible and affordable in Brazil at a time when they were expensive and hard to find, and the number of Brazilians with HIV was climbing. In the process, DKT Brazil made its brand Prudence the number-one condom in the very competitive Brazilian market, and also helped enhance contraceptive security.

    The result is that condoms have become normalized in Brazil—more used and less stigmatized—which has helped limit the spread of HIV.

    In 1990, the World Bank estimated that Brazil would have 1.2 million people living with HIV by 2000. However, that never happened: By 2000, there were fewer than 500,000 infections. After peaking in 1996, according to UNAIDS, AIDS-related deaths have remained fairly stable. Brazil is now considered an HIV success story. Condoms—distributed through by the public and private sectors— played an important role in that success.

  • Tamara Fetters

    Ipas | Senior Researcher

    Bill Powell

    Ipas | Senior Medical Scientist

    Sayed Rubayet

    Ipas Bangladesh | Country Director

    Shamila Nahar

    Ipas | Senior Advisor, Health Systems
    Kele-Kele Shiki: A community health worker uses printed materials to discuss reproductive health

    "It's good when husbands listen to this information together with their wives. It speeds up their decision-making." - Community Health Worker | Image courtesy of

    In 2017, 650,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh in an attempt to escape widespread violence and persecution by the Myanmar army. Most walked for days, even weeks, before finding shelter in the sprawling refugee settlements in the Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh.

    Many refugees lost family members to the violence, saw their homes destroyed, and lost all of their belongings. Living in humanitarian settings has a devastating effect on families, but women are particularly vulnerable; they face significant hardships trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy due to changing family structures, sexual violence, and disrupted health services—including sexual and reproductive health care.

    In response to the need for sexual and reproductive health services, the Government of Bangladesh partnered with national and international non-governmental organizations, including Ipas (a U.S.- based reproductive health and rights organization) to meet the needs of Rohingya women. Clinics were established, and paramedics, midwives, and doctors were trained to provide reproductive health services. As more clinics were established and trainings added, the attention turned to how to expand reproductive health services, including health information for Rohingya women.