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Population, Family and Reproductive Health


Advance Family Planning

Duff Gillespie, Beth Fredrick
Advance Family Planning (AFP) is an advocacy initiative established in 2009 at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. AFP aims to increase the financial investment and political commitment needed to ensure access to high-quality, voluntary family planning through collaborative, evidence-based advocacy aimed at working effectively with decision-makers. AFP is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


Bringing more evidence into contraceptive counseling: Building a new provider tool to tailor predictions of contraceptive outcomes to patient sub-populations

Caroline Moreau, Anne Burke, David Bishai, Amanda Latimore
This project funded by the Society for Family Planning aims to build a contraceptive decision support tool that quantifies risks for adverse outcomes related to contraceptive choices customized to a woman’s age and co-morbid conditions. Bringing this information together in a single model will inform the subsequent construction of a web-based decision support tool for the medical community.

Developing and Piloting A Gender-Based Violence Intervention Module to Reduce HIV Risk among Female Sex Workers (FSWs)

Michele Decker, Susan Sherman (Epi), Nancy Glass (School of Nursing)
With support from the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (P30AI094189, PI Chaisson), this initiative uses a community-based participatory approach to develop and pilot test a brief violence intervention module to encourage violence-related harm reduction, provide social support related to violence victimization, and reduce related HIV risk behavior among women who trade sex or are sexually exploited. 


Scott Radloff, Amy Tsui, Michelle Hindin, Saifuddin Ahmed, Linnea Zimmerman, Jose Rimon, Stan Becker, Caroline Moreau
A five-year Gates Foundation funded project that supports rapid-turnaround surveys using mobile devices to monitor progress in family planning access and use, as well as tracking equity and quality dimensions of service delivery. The project employs a network of female resident enumerators, recruited from or near the selected survey clusters, trained to use mobile smart phones to gather survey data, and deployed to conduct multiple rounds of the survey. The project supports surveys in 10 countries. A first survey round has been completed in Ghana, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. Plans are underway to launch surveys in the coming year in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Indonesia, and India.
To learn more please visit the PMA2020 page.



Caroline Moreau (a collaboration with the National Institute of Health and Medical research in France)
The FECOND project offers a holistic approach to studying current sexual and reproductive health issues in France, from the various points of views of the actors involved: women, men and health care professionals. The project includes a series of French National surveys exploring SRH as a process resulting from social and medical factors that inform individual attitudes and behaviors.


Faith-based Adolescents Involved in Total Health

Terrinieka Williams Powell
Focused on those areas of Baltimore where the adolescent pregnancy rates are the highest, this study aims to understand what is currently being done in the churches of those communities to address pregnancy prevention and to identify the potentials and barriers for effective interventions.

The Family Health and Wealth Study (FHWS)

Amy Tsui, Saifuddin Ahmed, Stan Becker, Michelle Hindin
This multi-country study is a Gates Institute project that examines the relationship between family size and family health and wealth outcomes among peri-urban households with married couples. The study sites are in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Egypt, China and India and two rounds of data have been in collected in all but India, with another round planned for the Ghana and Ethiopia communities in late 2014. The study has spawned research on linkages between marital relationship quality and contraceptive practice and family size with child nutritional status and schooling; and developed measurements of household economic wealth that capture vulnerability to shocks, such as family illness.

Gendered Risk, Substance Use and HIV among Urban Women

Michele Decker, Susan Sherman (Epi), Elizabeth Golub (Epi)
With support from NIDA (R03DA035691), this study harnesses the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), the largest and longest-running HIV cohort study of women in the US, to describe constellations of gendered risk, and evaluate their influence on substance use trends and behavioral and biologic HIV outcomes among marginalized urban women.

The Global Early Adolescent Study

Bob Blum, Caroline Moreau
The purpose of The Global Early Adolescent Study is to understand how gender norms influence sexual attitudes, beliefs and relationship formation in early adolescence as well as subsequent sexual activity and contraceptive practices in older adolescence. Specifically, the study will explore: 1) the determinants of gender attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in early adolescents; 2) how these gender norms influence individual sexual and reproductive health (SRH) across adolescent years. The study has two phases the first of which just began and it explores transitions into adolescents. In addition, it will also develop a tool kit of 4 instruments appropriate for early adolescents 10-14 years of age while the second phase will be 5 years in duration (anticipated to begin in 2016) and will follow a cohort of 1400 young adolescents in 10 countries: Egypt, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Scotland, Belgium, India, China and the United States. This research will help us build the knowledge base for improved gender based violence prevention services as well as reducing child marriage and improving early contraceptive use among young males and females who have sex.
To learn more please visit the GEAS page.

Harriet Lane Clinic’s Title X Program

Arik V. Marcell
Funded by the Office of Population Affairs, to provide reproductive health services to adolescents & young adults who are uninsured, underinsured or seeking confidential services and conduct quality improvement strategies to ensure providers are delivering quality family planning and sexual and reproductive health care services.

Meaningful Use of Technology to Improve Health Care Delivery (DepoText Project)

Maria Trent
Randomized pilot trial designed to determine the feasibility and acceptability of an SMS program to assist adolescents and young adults who have selected Moderately-long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (MARCS) with clinic attendance at family planning appointments.
To learn more please visit the Study Record Detail page.

Project Connect Baltimore

Arik V. Marcell
This is a CDC-funded program to evaluate school and community-based methods to engage males in HIV/STD testing and sexual and reproductive health care in Baltimore City by training youth-serving professionals on a web-based clinical services provider guide for male-specific clinical services ( If successful, this project will advance the field of male health promotion through its use of innovative approaches and technology that are easily transferable to a variety of settings and implemented at low cost

Quality improvement to integrate HIV testing in the Harriet Lane Clinic’s Title X Program

Arik V. Marcell
Funded by the Office of Population Affairs, the goal of this program is to integrate rapid HIV testing as part of Title X services and increase the proportion of clients receiving HIV test results and evaluate increased use using rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles.

Technology Enchanced Community Health Nursing Study

Maria Trent
The study involves 350 young women 13-21years old diagnosed with PID in Baltimore and randomize them to receive CHN clinical support using a single post-PID face-to-face clinical evaluation and SMS communication support. We hypothesize that repackaging the recommended CDC-follow-up visit using a technology-enhanced community health nursing intervention (TECH-N) with integration of an evidence-based STI prevention curriculum will reduce rates of short-term repeat infection by improving adherence to PID treatment and reducing unprotected intercourse and be more cost-effective compared with outpatient standard of care (and hospitalization).
To learn more, please visit the Study Record Detail page.

Social-Structural Determinants of Young Women’s Reproductive Health

Michele Decker, Michelle Hindin
This collaboration with World Health Organization entails review and analysis of population-level indicators of economic well-being, inequality and gender equity as they relate to women’s health indicators include early birth and family planning use, and trends therein, in low and middle income countries.

Strengthening the health sector to reduce reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence

Michele Decker in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
With support from NICHD (1R01HD064407), this cluster RCT evaluates a family planning clinic-based intervention to facilitate help-seeking, reduce intimate partner violence victimization and reproductive coercion, increase use of long-acting reversible contraception, and prevent unintended pregnancy.

Well-being of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments (WAVE)

Bob Blum, Michele Decker, Beth Marshall, Kristin Mmari, Freya Sonenstein
This mixed methods study sought to understand the health concerns and challenges to health among a cross-national sample of adolescents.   We conducted extensive qualitative research followed by a cross-sectional quantitative survey with youth recruited via respondent-driven sampling (RDS), with data collection in South Africa, India, China, Nigeria and the United States.