July 7, 2016--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.”
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 most effective when they are accompanied by robust communications and distribution efforts that help ensure wide acceptance and proper use.