Young parents in the DRC hold their baby.


PRB is a partner on the PROPEL Health project, which is working to support more equitable and sustainable health services, supplies, and delivery systems through policy, financing, governance, and advocacy.

USAID, The Palladium Group

The Challenge

PROPEL Health aims to improve the enabling environment for equitable and sustainable health services, supplies, and delivery systems through policy development and implementation; health financing; government stewardship, transparency, and accountability; and the use of evidence-based advocacy approaches at the global, national, and subnational levels. The project focuses on family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) and the integration of FP/RH with HIV and maternal and child health (MCH).

To enhance resilience and sustainability, PROPEL Health prioritizes local solutions for policy, advocacy, financing, and governance leadership, technical assistance, and capacity development.

The project’s core team includes Palladium, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Avenir Health, Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, Samasha Medical Foundation, and White Ribbon Alliance (WRA). It is led by Palladium and funded by USAID.

Our Approach

We bring expertise in key areas, including:

  • Providing high-quality, up-to-date estimates on key indicators on population, family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH), environment, and gender for countries around the world.
  • Supporting advocates to design and use evidence-based, politically smart advocacy approaches to advance their own FP/RH policy priorities.
  • Equipping youth to drive change by identifying gaps in implementation of youth-friendly policies and leading advocacy campaigns to overcome them.
  • Strengthening local media’s capacity in reproductive health reporting.

PROPEL Health website

African woman and baby

Promoting Evidence on Early Childhood Development in East and Southern Africa

PRB is sharing evidence on early childhood development (ECD) in East and Southern Africa so that it reaches a wide set of global stakeholders and is used to improve programming, policy, and investments for ECD.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Challenge

Research shows that birth through age 3 is a critical period for developing a child’s brain and shaping their future. In 2015, early childhood development (ECD) became part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, as of that same year, a large proportion of young children were at risk of poor development in Kenya (45%), Mozambique (61%), and Tanzania (66%).

Knowledge of existing challenges and promising interventions to improve ECD in East and Southern Africa (ESA) and around the world is necessary to inform effective programming and policies that address poor childhood development. Researchers, topic experts, advocates, and spokespeople and champions all play an important role in ensuring that evidence is communicated effectively so that it’s easy to understand and can be adapted across different contexts and systems. To be used in policymaking and global discourse, evidence must be packaged in a way that is compelling and accessible for nonexperts.

Our Approach

PRB is partnering with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to promote evidence on ECD in ESA to improve the lives of young children ages 0-3 in Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania.  We are working with key actors to create and implement a strategy to share evidence around three priority themes: parenting, male engagement in early childhood development and adolescent parenting, and population-level measurement of early childhood development. The strategy includes developing key messages and recommendations to increase the reach, use, and application of evidence from the region in global programming and investment. To implement the strategy, PRB is helping build the skills of spokespeople to share relevant evidence and creating resources to help non-researchers understand the evidence and its implications for action.

Los Angeles skyline

Regional Forecast for Southern California Association of Governments

PRB provides demographic and socioeconomic forecasts and trend analyses to support regional transportation and housing planning for a six-county region in Southern California.

Status: Current (2021-present)

Southern California Association of Governments

The Opportunity

Regional planning for transportation, schools, housing, and health care facilities requires demographic and socioeconomic forecasting to effectively serve constituent populations.

This project supports regional transportation and housing planning for a six-county region in Southern California by producing demographic and socioeconomic forecasts, as well as current and historical trend analysis. Through the course of the project, PRB provides technical assistance to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) staff and their board of directors.

Our Work

Our work includes analyses and forecasts of demographic and socioeconomic trends affecting population, housing, and employment change in the region. In addition, PRB leads expert panel workshops to solicit input for the regional forecast. We also prepare documents for and give presentations to SCAG working groups and policy committees.


Learn about SCAG’s growth forecasting

A Burkinabe woman and her daughter

Counting Women’s Work/Valorisation du travail des femmes

With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, PRB works to expand local analysis of women’s unpaid care work and stakeholder engagement in African countries.
Avec le soutien de la Fondation William et Flora Hewlett, PRB développe les analyses nationales du travail domestique non rémunéré des femmes et l'engagement des parties prenantes dans les pays africains.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The Challenge/Le Défi

Women’s unpaid care work remains largely unrecognized in many countries’ discussions of economic growth and macroeconomic policy. Under this project, PRB works in partnership with Centre Régional de Recherche en Economie Générationnelle (CREG) and University of California at Berkeley (the home of the Counting Women’s Work project) to support estimation of the time women spend on unpaid care work and its contribution to countries’ economies. We are currently supporting national time transfer accounts (NTTA) analysis for five countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo). By measuring women’s unpaid care work, research teams make it easier to explain both the total value of women’s contributions to a country’s economy and the constraints imposed by the amount of time required for women’s unpaid care work. These teams can help identify areas that must be addressed in order to reduce women’s time burden and identify/model potential policy solutions.


Le travail domestique non rémunéré des femmes reste largement non-reconnu dans les discussions de nombreux pays sur la croissance économique et la politique macroéconomique. Dans le cadre de ce projet, PRB travaille en partenariat avec le Centre Régional de Recherche en Economie Générationnelle (CREG) et l’Université de Californie à Berkeley (siège du projet Valorisation du travail des femmes) pour appuyer l’estimation du temps que les femmes consacrent au travail domestique non rémunéré et sa contribution aux économies nationales. Nous soutenons actuellement l’analyse des comptes nationaux de transfert de temps (NTTA) dans cinq pays (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Sénégal et Togo). En mesurant le travail domestique non rémunéré des femmes, les équipes de recherche permettent d’expliquer plus facilement la valeur totale des contributions des femmes à l’économie d’un pays et les contraintes imposées par le temps requis pour ce travail spécifique. Ces équipes peuvent aider à identifier les barrières à lever afin de réduire les contraintes de temps des femmes et identifier/modéliser des solutions politiques potentielles.

Impact and Outcomes/Impact et résultats

Ultimately, this project will contribute to achieving three goals at the country-level:

  1. Increased political will to design services and systems to be more accessible and relevant to women’s needs—particularly as identified by women’s time use in market activities (such as providing goods and services for sale) and non-market activities (such as unpaid care work).
  2. Improved social and physical infrastructure that reduce women’s and girls’ “time poverty” or “time burden.”
  3. More gender inclusive economic policy developed by considering the effect of or impact on women’s care burden.

To read more about the project, please visit our partner CREG’s blog page (in French) here!


À terme, ce projet contribuera à atteindre trois objectifs au niveau des pays:

  1. politique accrue de concevoir des services et des systèmes plus accessibles et adaptés aux besoins des femmes, en particulier tels qu’identifiés par l’utilisation du temps des femmes dans les activités marchandes (fourniture de biens et services rémunérés) et les activités non marchandes (travail domestique non rémunéré).
  2. Infrastructures sociales et physiques améliorées qui réduisent la « pauvreté de temps » ou la « charge de temps » des femmes et des filles.
  3. Politique économique plus inclusive en matière de genre élaborée en tenant compte de l’effet ou de l’impact sur la charge des soins donnés par les femmes.

Pour en savoir plus sur le projet, consultez la page du blog de notre partenaire CREG (en français) ici!


U.S. Policy Communications Training

Translating scientific research findings for non-scientific audiences, the U.S. Policy Communications Training Program builds on PRB’s 40-year legacy of training researchers to bridge the gap between research findings and the policy development process.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The Opportunity

While research often has profound practical implications, it must be communicated effectively to a variety of non-technical audiences to influence policy and programmatic change.

Current U.S. predoctoral graduate education is not designed to train researchers in how to communicate research results to nonacademic audiences. PRB addresses this gap with its U.S. Policy Communications Training Program.

The program prepares current Ph.D. students from U.S. academic institutions to influence policy and practice through effective communication. Participants learn to present findings on population and health topics in ways that are understandable and accessible to policy audiences, including decisionmakers, advocates, and the media. They will understand how research informs the policy environment, learn ways to communicate findings to U.S. and international policy audiences, and improve their ability to communicate in written and verbal formats.

The program’s main goal is to expand the cadre of U.S. population research professionals committed to policy communication. Its objectives are to: (1) address barriers that researchers face in communicating population-related research results to policy audiences; (2) engage a diverse group of predoctoral students (future population professionals) in policy communication over their careers; and (3) teach population scientists about the process by which research informs the policy environment, how to identify and communicate the policy implications of their research, and various tools/skills for communicating findings to U.S. policy audiences.

Our Approach

The U.S. Policy Communications Training Program consists of two components.

  1. Workshop: A week-long summer workshop in Washington, D.C., focuses on the role of research in the U.S. policymaking process and on techniques for effective communication of research findings to U.S. decisionmakers, media, and non-technical audiences. Participants hear firsthand from congressional researchers, lobbyists, and others about their experiences using research to effect change. They also practice distilling policy-relevant messages from their research and communicating this information in nontechnical language.
  2. Practicum: During the academic year following the workshop, participants receive mentorship and apply lessons learned to create two policy communication products, such as a policy brief, blog post, web article, or op-ed, based on their dissertations or related research topics.

The Impact

PRB has trained nearly 100 Ph.D. students enrolled in reputable U.S. academic institutions and conducting research on population and health topics to communicate with U.S. policy audiences, including government decisionmakers, advocates, and the media, since 2015.

Make an Application

The 2022 training program awards were announced in April 2022. The announcement for the 2023 training program will be made on the PRB website in January 2023.

Applicants submitted the following to PRB:

  • A completed application form.
  • An up-to-date resume with a full list of educational and other professional activities.
  • Two letters of reference sent directly from the person writing the reference.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still enrolled in your Ph.D. program, you are still eligible to apply to the Policy Fellows program. During the selection process, we tend to give preference to those students who will remain enrolled in their academic programs through at least the following spring/summer. Please be sure to note your anticipated graduation date as requested on the application form.


We are limited to accepting participants whose research focus is related to demography, reproductive health, or population health.

  • Demographic topics include population dynamics, distribution, growth, and decline; migration; fertility, nuptiality, and family demography; mortality and morbidity; or the causes and consequences of demographic change.
  • Reproductive health studies of interest are limited to behavioral and social science research.
  • Population health areas include human health, productivity, and development at the population level. The populations of concern may be U.S. or non-U.S. populations.


PRB’s funding for this program is made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—National Institutes of Health (NIH), Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). As such, we are only able to support students who are U.S. citizens or Green Card holders (permanent residents). PRB does offer a separate Policy Communications Training for international students under our PACE Project, funded through the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health. This training supports students who are from USAID family-planning priority countries.

Unfortunately, at this time only students who are enrolled in Ph.D., Dr.PH., or other doctoral programs are eligible for this fellowship.

The Policy Fellows program is designed for students who are currently pursuing a Ph.D. or other doctoral level degree. If you are not currently enrolled as a student in a Ph.D. or doctoral program, you are not eligible to participate.

PRB will arrange and pay for participant to travel to the workshop, which includes flights, hotel accommodations, and a travel stipend for additional expenses. During the workshop, participants will stay at a comfortable hotel very near PRB’s office in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.


Health Policy Plus (HP+)

PRB is a partner on the Palladium-led, USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project that strengthens and advances health policy priorities at global, national, and subnational levels.

USAID, Palladium

The Work

HP+ focuses on strengthening and advancing health policy priorities in family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and newborn health at global, national, and subnational levels, expanding the efforts of prior U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) investments from the Health Policy Project (HPP).

HP+ works in more than 17 countries and aims to improve the enabling environment for equitable and sustainable health services, supplies, and delivery systems through policy development and implementation, with an emphasis on voluntary health programs, and by strengthening in-country partners’ capacity to navigate complex environments for effective policy design, implementation, and financing. Taken together, evidence-based inclusive policies, more sustainable health financing, improved governance, and stronger global leadership and advocacy will lead to improved health outcomes worldwide.

HP+ is funded by USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by a multidimensional, complementary team led by Palladium.

Our Approach

PRB brings our core strengths in communicating technical health information to the project. Specifically, we work to:

  • Train decisionmakers, advocates, and researchers on how to better understand, communicate, and use health data in decisionmaking.
  • Create easy-to-understand, compelling communication materials for national and subnational decisionmakers and implementers to ensure awareness of and prompt action on national policies addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Materials have included videos, social media clips, factsheets, media toolkits, ENGAGE multimedia presentations, and reports.
  • Train and mentor journalists with an aim to increase and improve news coverage on the links between family planning and development, and hold governments accountable for their commitments to family planning.
  • Work with youth advocates and youth journalists to strengthen their capacity to participate in the decisionmaking processes as champions, raise community awareness about youth-related SRH policies, and hold governments and providers accountable for providing high-quality, youth-friendly SRH services.


Explore HP+


Building the Capacity of Young Leaders in Malawi

After training from HP+, youth reporters and radio listening club members produced weekly radio programs about youth reproductive health topics in several districts across Malawi. In one example, in 2020 a program on Nkhotakota Radio urged pregnant teenagers to get an HIV test to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their babies. Within two weeks of the program airing, an additional 40 pregnant teenagers had visited the District Health Office for HIV tests. Since receiving their training, some youth participants have led youth organizations that lobby local and regional leaders on issues important to youth, including health and education.

Policy and Advocacy Training for Young People in Malawi

In 2018, HP+ conducted policy and advocacy training in Malawi to amplify the voices of young adults working on issues related to youth-friendly health services. A short video presents the voices of three youth champions (also featured in the HP+ 2019 World Population Day blog) who attended the training and are continuing to work in various ways to inspire and educate youth in their communities.

Effectively Communicating Health Data on Women in Mali

Although Mali has ratified most major international and regional human rights treaties, and its constitution defends women’s rights, the country has yet to formally pass a law criminalizing gender-based violence (GBV). HP+ worked with Mali’s Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children, and Families and its National Control Program Against Excision to develop advocacy tools, including infographics, for key decisionmakers and the media to spur political will to pass the GBV law. The advocacy materials (in French) include key data and information on GBV, child marriage, and female genital cutting in Mali. They also provide actions that policymakers and the media can take to advocate for a stronger legal and regulatory environment to support voluntary, equitable, rights-based programs.

Understanding and Communicating Young People’s Needs for Malawi’s Decisionmakers

In Malawi, strategic and multisectoral investments in youth are critical pieces of national growth and development. Growing Together: Multisectoral Investments in Malawi’s Youth is an ENGAGE™ multimedia presentation that describes the necessary investments in young people’s health, education, employment opportunities, and participation in governance that can create a window of opportunity for accelerated economic development. The presentation’s goal is to build awareness of the overlapping needs and priorities of multiple sectors and increase support for cross-sectoral investments in Malawi’s young people. To achieve this goal, the presentation is designed to boost individuals’ understanding of the links between and among young peoples’ health, education, employment, and meaningful participation in governance, and how investments in each of these sectors can contribute to Malawi’s growth and development. The ENGAGE is available in English and Chichewa.


Combatting Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors in Youth

PRB produced a global interactive database and a series of regional policy reports and data sheets that highlight the importance of taking action now to address noncommunicable disease (NCD) risk factors among youth.

AstraZeneca Young Health Programme

The Challenge

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic respiratory diseases have become the world’s leading causes of death, accounting for 70% of all deaths globally in 2015. Compared to high-income countries, NCDs in lower-income countries generally claim lives at younger ages, often at the peak of individuals’ economic productivity. NCDs pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of populations, economic growth, and sustainable development, especially in low- and middle-income countries, underscoring the importance of prioritizing their prevention.

Our Approach

The four main NCDs share four risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet. These risk factors are all modifiable behaviors typically initiated or established during adolescence or young adulthood, setting the stage for NCDs later in life. Preventing or reducing risk behaviors among youth today can minimize the future burden of the growing NCD epidemic. Under this project, PRB created products that underscore the opportunity that low- and middle-income countries have to curb rising NCD epidemics. PRB also conducted policy communication training for youth advocates working on this health issue, and journalist training to improve the quantity and quality of reporting on the matter.

ACS Conference 2019-3sm

American Community Survey and Decennial Census Support Services

Informing policymakers, the media, and the public about the importance of data from the decennial census and American Community Survey.

U.S. Census Bureau

PRB has been a long-term partner to the U.S. Census Bureau, helping to inform policymakers, the media, and the public about the importance of data from the decennial census and American Community Survey (ACS). Under this project, we work in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to:

These activities have facilitated communication about decennial census and ACS issues and applications among a broad group of data users, as well as between data users and the Census Bureau.

ACS Data Users Group

PRB established an ACS Data Users Group to improve understanding of the value and utility of ACS data and to promote information sharing about key ACS data issues and applications. To facilitate communication among data users, we maintain an ACS Online Community and organize webinars and special sessions at professional meetings. Membership in the group is free. It is led by a Steering Committee that represents a broad spectrum of ACS data users with different interests.

ACS Data Users Conferences

We have organized six ACS Data Users Conferences in partnership with the Census Bureau. More than 700 ACS data users attended the hybrid 2023 ACS Data Users Conference, held May 16-18, 2023, in Washington, DC.  The program brought together more than 50 contributed presentations by ACS data users, invited sessions with Census Bureau staff, Census Bureau product demonstrations, and opportunities for networking.

ACS and Decennial Census Resources

PRB collaborated with the Census Bureau to write a series of Handbooks, Modules, and Case Studies for different ACS data user communities, including journalists, businesses, state and local governments, and others. The handbooks provide an overview of the ACS to help data users understand the basics of the survey, how the data can be used, how to judge the accuracy of ACS estimates, and how to access ACS data on the web.

PRB staff are writing a series of briefs that provide concise, reader-friendly information to data users about the new 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System.

We also developed resources to help data users understand and use the Census Bureau’s Statistical Testing Tool, Application Programming Interface (API), ACS Public Use Microdata Sample, and ACS Summary File.


Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)

The SAFE ENGAGE project supports safe abortion access by providing decisionmakers with the latest data on abortion, strengthening the capacity of advocates to achieve policy goals, and working with journalists to improve evidence-based reporting.

The Challenge

Thousands of women in sub-Saharan Africa die each year from pregnancy-related causes. Unsafe abortions account for one in seven maternal deaths in Africa, and more than 1.5 million women are treated each year for complications from unsafe abortion. Young African women are especially affected: More than half of unsafe abortions in the region are among women under age 25. Reducing deaths from unsafe abortion requires a policy environment that supports women to equitably access comprehensive prevention and treatment services—contraception, safe abortion, and postabortion care.

Our Approach

The four-year SAFE ENGAGE project is implemented in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lagos state in Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. SAFE ENGAGE also contains a rapid response mechanism through which other national and regional partners can request creative, data-driven communications materials to support specific advocacy objectives.



  • Advances policy dialogue for safe abortion by creating compelling evidence-based multimedia presentations and other materials for policymakers, advocates, and journalists.
  • Builds country-level individual and institutional capacity to use evidence for policy advocacy to promote safe abortion and reduce unsafe abortion.
  • Works with journalists to increase the quality and quantity of evidence-based news coverage on safe abortion through in-country media training and journalists’ engagement.


SAFE ENGAGE established four country-level task forces that brought together demographers, economists, medical professionals, women’s health and rights proponents, policymakers from government ministries, and parliamentarians for discussions about abortion. These task forces created spaces for collaboration and information sharing that broadened dialogue to include new perspectives, created consensus around objectives and messages, and renewed a focus on evidence. Each task force produced and disseminated ENGAGE multimedia presentation packages. This process strengthened the capacity of task force members to use data and messaging effectively in their own presentations and materials, strengthened collaboration and consensus among safe abortion champions, and generated important policy conversations that are continuing today.

SAFE ENGAGE also supported an intensive media training effort to equip a cadre of journalists in each country to accurately report on the policies and laws surrounding abortion and the determinants, incidence, and consequences of unsafe abortion. Each country setting required its own context-specific focus, and this tailored approach has reaped the reward of high-quality reporting across diverse news outlets.

During the second phase of the project, SAFE ENGAGE built on the work of the task forces by conducting policy communication training and regional learning exchanges to strengthen Task Force members’ ability to communicate with policy audiences and foster collaboration across neighboring countries. The regional learning exchanges also allowed participants to learn from each other’s successes and brainstorm approaches to overcoming shared challenges. SAFE ENGAGE also produced a guide to policy dialogue for safe abortion, which synthesized learning from the first phase of the project.



PRB supports implementation science partners with knowledge translation and strategic communication to transform social norms for adolescent and youth reproductive health.

USAID, Institute for Reproductive Health-Georgetown University

The Challenge

Young people’s ability to forge healthy relationships is influenced by social norms—the informal rules that govern behavior in groups and societies—that are enforced by peers, families, and communities. Social norms shape behaviors related to sexual debut, intimate partner and sexual violence, and early marriage, as well as access to education and the services and information young people need to protect their health. Research has shown that investing in efforts to create normative change at the community (rather than individual) level, while ensuring supportive policies and access to good quality services, can bring about significant improvements in sexual and reproductive health.

PRB partners with the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), Georgetown University to support knowledge translation and strategic communication for the Passages Project, a USAID-funded implementation research project. Passages aims to address a broad range of social norms to achieve sustained improvements in family planning, reproductive health, and gender-based violence. PRB’s partnership expands Passages’ global leadership and dissemination efforts that focus on information synthesis, knowledge sharing, and capacity building.

Our Approach

In the first phase of the project, PRB developed a strategic communications plan to ensure the project’s legacy is well communicated to key stakeholders. Working with IRH and existing Passages consortium partners, PRB is developing a range of legacy products that are evidence-based, practical, and accessible to a targeted range of stakeholders:

  • In consultation with IRH, design, develop, review, and create a suite of visually compelling and technically engaging communications products drawing from Passages’ existing and emerging work, including but not limited to written, digital, and video products.
  • Design and implement in-person and digital knowledge-sharing/dissemination efforts.
  • Capture information on the impact of the Passages communications strategy to convey the project’s success and inform IRH’s future work.


Explore Passages Project resources


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