PSI Pledges Increased Access to Contraception for 10 Million Youth by 2020

Population Services International (PSI) is excited to join Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) in its sharpened focus on meeting the unmet need for contraception among adolescents and young women.

PSI, through its global network of 60 country programs, commits to reaching 10 million people under the age of 25 with modern contraceptive methods by the end of December 2020.

To meet this ambitious goal, PSI and its partners are testing new and bold ways of collaborating with young people to reimagine and redefine the way Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programs are designed, delivered, measured and evaluated.

PSI is able to make this commitment thanks to investments from donors such as USAID, European donors including the Dutch government and UKAID, foundations and many others. For instance, through programs like Adolescents 360, a $30 million project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, PSI is co-designing solutions with youth to increase access to modern contraception. In this case, the program fuses user-centered design, developmental neuroscience, social marketing and cultural anthropology to learn the actual needs of 15 to 19-year-old girls in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria, and reimagine health service models to meet these needs.

“The family planning community is redoubling efforts to improve and expand programs for youth. PSI’s commitment to FP2020 addresses their specific needs as well as the many challenges inherent in improving access and accessibility of contraception,” said Beth Schlachter, executive director of Family Planning 2020. “We appreciate this commitment to improving our collective future. If the global community hopes to realize the SDGs, we all must direct our energy towards improving the health, well being and education of young people. Control of fertility is central to empowering young people so that they can determine their future and choose the life they want.”

Through this FP2020 pledge, PSI also aims to improve its collection of age-disaggregated data and share lessons learned. PSI will continue to implement and expand its award-winning DHIS2 digital application to track and analyze client-based data and improve evidence-based programming.

And PSI will work towards ensuring all sexually active young people regardless of marital status or parity have access to the widest available range of contraceptive options, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, and that access to services is embraced and advocated for by young people, their health providers, their families and their communities.

“We are witness to the largest generation of young people in history: 1.8 billion aged 10 to 24 years old. These are 1.8 billion voices that can help shape the global agenda over the next decade,” said Michael Holscher, PSI’s chief strategy and resources officer. “PSI is committed to collaborating with young people as partners in co-creating the way sexual and reproductive health programs are designed and delivered. We look forward to sharing the lessons we learn with all those who are committed to addressing the contraceptive needs of adolescents and youth.”

10 Ways to Learn How PSI Co-Designs with Teens

  1. OP-ED: In the Financial Times’ BeyondBrics column, Michael Anderson, formerly of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and Chris Elias of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wrote about the importance and difficulty of increasing access to modern contraception for adolescents and why programs like PSI’s Adolescents 360 can help provide the answer to how.
  1. VIDEO:  PSI’s programs use innovative approaches, such as human-centered design, to reach adolescents and young women. Devexcovers how PSI Tanzania and design thinker Pam Scott are working to learn how to reach teen girls and their influencers, including health providers, to increase girls’ access to modern contraception.
  1. VIDEODevex films (with 360 degree interactivity) a design immersion project hosted by PSI Tanzania, where one team prototyped a way to connect teenage girls, providers, and nyakangas, who lead ceremonies that mark the transition from girlhood to womanhood.
  1. BLOG POST: In a recent piece in Impact magazine, PSI Youth and Girls Technical Advisor Rena Greifinger explains the adolescent mindset and how to use teen girls and young women’s own input to increase their access to modern contraception.
  1. BLOG POST: Read about six PSI programs in 13 countries that co-design with adolescents and young women to increase access to modern contraception.
  1. ARTICLEDevex’s Catherine Cheney covers Adolescent 360, a $30 million program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, created “to source adolescent family planning solutions from health providers and adolescents themselves at a much larger scale.”
  1. ARTICLE: Devex reporter Catherine Cheney reports on Maverick Member, design thinker and PSI partner Pam Scott’s work in bringing a process of co-designing programs with adolescents and young women to address the actual reasons they have an unmet need for contraception.
  1. VIDEO WITH BLOG POST: This blog post by PSI Social Marketing Technical Advisor C. Montague Hermann explains how seeking input from youth (the “prime prospect”) helped Trust condoms reshape its packaging and marketing campaign.
  1. AUDIO:Read about and hear a clip from PSI Malawi’s popular radio program Youth Alert!, which addresses often taboo topics to help young people make informed choices about sex, relationships and contraception.
  1. VIDEO:PSI and IPPF brought together some the world’s leading advocates, researchers and practitioners to talk about meaningful youth engagement. Watch here to learn more about the importance of putting adolescents at the center of program design for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

About PSI

PSI is a global health network of more than 60 local organizations dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. A hallmark of PSI is a commitment to the principle that health services and products are the most effective when they are accompanied by robust communications and distribution efforts that help ensure wide acceptance and proper user.