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International Conference on Family Planning: Research and Best Practices

15-18 November 2009 / Kampala, Uganda

Persisting unmet need for family planning can undermine the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals and compromise global efforts towards human development.  Although more than 500 million couples in the developing world are satisfied family planning users, another 200 million seek to delay or avoid having a birth but are not using contraception.  The United Nations estimates that by 2050 this demand will grow by 40 percent as record numbers of young people enter the prime reproductive ages.  In some African countries, the level of unmet need for family planning exceeds the level of contraceptive use.

While an extensive base of research on and experience with family planning programs has accumulated over the past forty years, its recent volume is much lower.  The economic impact of reproductive change, such as on poverty or national savings with shifting dependency burdens, needs updating with emerging data.  Likewise, full potential of contraceptive practice in preventing unsafe and unnecessary abortions, maternal and neonatal deaths, or the transmission of HIV to newborns warrants more complete study.  An international forum for scientific and programmatic exchange will enable the sharing of available findings and identification of knowledge gaps, as well as using new knowledge to transform development policy.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,  Makerere University’s School of Public Health, and the Implementing Best Practices Initiative along with other international and national partners, organized an international conference on family planning research and best practices in Kampala, Uganda 15-18 November 2009.  November 16 and 17 focused on research and best practices in family planning, and November 18 focused on knowledge to action.