Family Planning and Reproductive Health

For people around the world, the ability to make choices about having children—whether to have them, when to have them, and how many to have—depends on a wide range of factors. Among others, things such as economic status, culture, local health policies, clinic accessibility, and levels of education all play a role. While the global efforts to improve family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) services have made great strides in the last several years, there are still many people who do not fully utilize family planning services (if they use them at all) even when they intend to.

As a result, there are high rates of stopping the use of family planning methods, unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and infant and maternal mortality.

What explains the gap between people’s desire to space or limit childbirths and their lack of uptake and continued use of FPRH services? There are many hidden barriers that impact people’s behavior.This includes measurable behaviors in women and men of reproductive age, their families and friends, FPRH service providers and administrators, and other community members.

ideas42 is working on different pieces of this complex global challenge through our Behavioral Economics for Innovations in Family Planning and Reproductive Health program, generously supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Using behavioral science, we’re identifying ways to improve the health and future well-being of women and their families by making FPRH services more effective. We work with global health organizations and service providers around the world to identify behavioral barriers that could be removed by changing the way services are provided to women in rural and low-income areas.

Over the next two years, ideas42 hopes to apply our expertise in cutting-edge behavioral interventions to FPRH services in the developing world, helping individuals and families plan for the future.

Interested in learning more about this work applying behavioral science to a crucial social problem? Reach out to us at and tweet at @ideas42 to join the conversation.

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