Responding to challenges for scaling up quality family planning & reproductive health programmes
The Population Council has been granted a cooperative agreement from the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH). The award supports the project "Strengthening Family Planning/Reproductive Health Programming through Implementation Science (EVIDENCE)," which will generate and synthesize evidence to strengthen and contribute to the scale-up of high-quality family planning and reproductive health services in USAID priority countries.
EVIDENCE will advance implementation science and use knowledge to improve family planning and reproductive health programs, generate new evidence to address current program challenges, and design and conduct studies that respond to critical emerging issues, evidence gaps, and client needs. EVIDENCE will also synthesize evidence on strategies for scaling up and financing family planning and reproductive health programming and will provide technical assistance to countries using implementation science approaches and evidence for program improvement.
The Council will lead EVIDENCE, working with a consortium of partners including Management Sciences for Health (MSH), PATH, Population Reference Bureau (PRB), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and INDEPTH Network.
EVIDENCE will also create a University Resource Network, comprising selected northern and southern research institutions that will provide complementary research and capacity-building expertise.
"The Council is proud to partner with USAID and distinguished colleagues on this groundbreaking implementation science initiative," said John W. Townsend, PhD, vice president, Population Council. "Through EVIDENCE, we will help transform the way family planning and reproductive healthcare services are delivered by expanding access, building capacity, and addressing unmet needs through scale-up of high-impact, rights-based practices."
EVIDENCE will address key issues including strengthening and integrating health systems to more effectively provide services at scale; diversifying markets and financing to better meet women's family planning and reproductive health needs; expanding the range and availability of contraceptives and other technologies to improve client choices and health outcomes; and responding to rapidly changing social norms and contraceptive behaviors within specific contexts.
"EVIDENCE will challenge the global community to use implementation science to determine best practices for scaling up programs to deliver high-quality and cost-effective services to the most underserved populations," said project director Karen Hardee, PhD, Population Council.