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380.771.01 Understanding and Changing International Reproductive Health Policy

Population, Family and Reproductive Health
4th term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  9:00 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Duff Gillespie
Course Instructor s:

Introduces students to policy analysis and issues in reproductive health, especially international family planning. Students learn how to analyze policymaking processes and ways to influence these processes through evidence-based advocacy. Case studies are used to analyze policies. Focues on FP2020, the international partnership launched at the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012. The instructors present an “insider’s” perspective for most cases and will draw heavily on Advance Family Planning (AFP), a multi-country advocacy initiative. Training in the AFP SMART approach to advocacy is a core part of the course.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss and analyze multiple dimensions (including the role of ethics and evidence) of the reproductive health policy making process of the U.S. government and other donors, the United Nations, and selected developing countries
  2. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity through analysis of how reproductive health policies affect programmatic and budgetary decisions
  3. Explain how reproductive health policies are different from other health and development policies
  4. Identify and assess external factors that influence the reproductive health policymaking process and its implementation
  5. Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations through: a) development of a decision-maker focused advocacy objective and rationale, and request for action at national or subnational levels within developing countries; b) presentation of a rationale for maintaining or graduating foreign aid to a developing country family planning program; c) class discussion
Methods of Assessment:

The grading in this course is based on individual participation and individual written assignments.

Course participation (20 percent)
Includes 5 non-graded quizzes, attendance, and participation in discussions.

Written Assignments:
Briefer (30 percent)

Report using the AFP SMART approach to strategy development for a developing country advocacy issue (50 percent)

Note: For both the Briefer and AFP SMART report, students will choose from the issues and countries below. It is not required to use the same issue and/or country for both assignments, though such an approach may be to your advantage.

Issue Options:
• Tasksharing/shifting for service delivery
• Policy issues related to decentralization of governance
• Funding

Country Options: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda

Enrollment Restriction:

No undergraduates

Instructor Consent:

No consent required