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UNC Professor to Lead $4 Million Gates Foundation Grant to Evaluate Contraceptive Method Choices for Youth in Africa, Asia

UNC’s Carolina Population Center has announced a new program to generate and synthesize evidence to inform programs and policies to expand contraceptive method choice for youth ages 15 – 24 at the global and country levels. The work is supported by $4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

[Photo: UNC’s Dr. Ilene Speizer will work to expand choices for youth ages 15 – 24 regarding their methods of contraception. Photo by Frerieke/Flickr Creative Commons]

Dr. Ilene Speizer, research professor in maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, is principal investigator for the four-year award. Dr. David Guilkey, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of economics at UNC, will serve as co-investigator and senior adviser to the grant. Both Dr. Speizer and Dr. Guilkey are faculty fellows at the Carolina Population Center.

The work will be conducted in up to 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Research conducted under the grant will generate evidence on expanded contraceptive method choice for youth and adolescents through primary data collection and analysis of secondary data. The project, administered by UNC’s Carolina Population Center, will help fill gaps in existing global, country and program-level data and information to support future evidence-informed investments on expanded contraceptive method choice among youth.

“For too long sexually active young people, married or unmarried, have been unable to obtain a family planning method of their choice because of policy and service barriers,” Dr. Speizer said. “This project will examine strategies to reduce these barriers at the country level to support young people’s informed choices about when and whether to have a child and which contraceptive methods to use. The information from this project will support achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3 target for universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning.”

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