The Population Reference Bureau provides periodic highlights of recent activities among its portfolio of projects. We greatly value all of our sponsors and strive to highlight the newest and most recent project activities. However, we will not likely report on all projects in every edition.

IDEA Project (USAID)

Kenya’s New Population Policy

Kenya’s Population Policy for National Development was passed by the Kenyan Parliament on Oct. 2, 2012. The motion to change Kenya’s population policy was moved by the Honorable Wycliffe A. Oparanya, Minister of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, parent agency of the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD). Since 2010, the IDEA project has supported NCPD to conduct high levels of advocacy throughout the policy development and review process, and to engage various government officials and stakeholders at the national and county levels. Over the years, IDEA has also supported NCPD to make the case for the policy by developing and disseminating a range of advocacy publications, and disseminating the “Kenya Leading the Way” ENGAGE multimedia presentation throughout the country.

Women’s Edition Journalists Convene in Washington

In November 2012, PRB’s newest group of Women’s Edition journalists met in Washington, D.C., for the first of four seminars over the next two years. Funded by USAID under the IDEA project, the group of 15 senior women journalists were chosen from an unprecedented applicant pool of over 300. The Women’s Edition journalists are from 13 developing countries: Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, and represent both broadcast and print media.

During the week-long seminar, experts from PRB, other organizations, and USAID made presentations to the journalists to highlight major issues in reproductive health and family planning; the links between population, health, and environment; cross-cutting topics in youth and gender; maternal health and obstetric fistula; and research using the Demographic and Health Surveys as well as the Internet. Activities included attending a press conference at the National Press Club for the release of The State of World Population 2012, “By Choice, Not by Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights, and Development.” In addition, the journalists participated in discussions on how reproductive health issues can be covered effectively and prominently, how journalists can hold governments accountable, and how to accurately present numbers in news stories.

The remaining three seminars in 2013 and 2014 will include visits to project sites in developing countries and deeper exploration of a variety of reproductive health topics. The Women’s Edition journalists are expected to produce in-depth articles and programs on reproductive health issues, and journalists from previous Women’s Edition trainings have stated that their reporting on family planning and reproductive health has been “impacted forever by Women’s Edition.”

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

To commemorate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (Nov. 25 to Dec. 10), the Gender- Based Violence Task Force of the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG), together with PAHO, USAID, George Washington University’s Global Women’s Institute, and Johns Hopkins University, hosted an event entitled “Breaking the Cycle: Understanding the Intersections of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children.” The Dec. 10 event drew more than 100 participants and featured presentations that covered the spectrum of violence against women and children. The audience was taken through an overview of the issue, then presented with findings from a new study on Latin America showing that exposure to violence in childhood— either as a victim of physical or sexual abuse or as a witness to violence against women—increases the risk of experiencing violence later in life. The presentation included examples from Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Kenya of how data can be used for national action plans. The panel presentations ended with discussion about lessons learned and prevention strategies.

Under PRB’s leadership, IGWG also brought attention to the 16 Days through another event, “Who Takes Care of the Caregivers? Providing Care and Safety for Staff in GBV Settings.” Topics included an overview of conditions that caregivers face, prevention and response strategies, and available resources and trainings. In addition, members of the gender community of practice gave presentations on what actions are being taken by their organizations.

The events and their corresponding materials are available on the IGWG website (

Learning How to Work With the Media

PRB organized and facilitated the workshop “Training NGOs to Work With the Media” in Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi, during November. The workshop objectives were to have participants understand what the media is and how it applies to their work; clarify the message they want to communicate with the media; evaluate the ability of participants to interview with the media during a press conference and on camera; and build the confidence of participants to approach journalists and advocate their work and mission through the media.

Thirty-three participants attended the two workshops, facilitated by PRB staff and two PRB-trained local journalists. The curriculum emphasized interactive sessions that provided an opportunity for group discussions, putting knowledge to practice through mock press conferences and interviews, and exercises that required attendees to critically think about the work they do and the messages they would like to send to the public. Participants wrote press releases, created a communication strategy to work with journalists, and learned about the benefits of social media and op-ed pieces.

According to participant feedback, the most valuable skills learned were how to interview during a press conference, write a press release, and build relationships with journalists. Participants clarified in the evaluation how they will use the knowledge and skills gained in their work, including developing a database of media contacts and rekindling relationships with local media houses.

HoPE-LVB Workshop Provides Communication Skills

As a key supporting partner of the Health of People and the Environment-Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) project, PRB continues to provide capacity building and technical assistance to the project staff in policy communications and monitoring and evaluation.

In December, 10 members of the HoPE-LVB advocacy team from Kampala and Kisumu, Uganda, gathered at Lake Victoria for a PRB-facilitated policy communications workshop. Participants attended sessions on the research to policy gap, working with the media, developing and delivering a policy presentation, and a discussion of the key results and policy implications from HoPE-LVB baseline data. During the workshop, participants and facilitators traveled to a HoPE-LVB project site on Busi Island, Uganda. Participants discussed how the project’s findings and implications could be used to communicate with decisionmakers.

Each participant gave a policy presentation using PowerPoint slides developed during the workshop, focusing on a potential audience for their information. HoPE-LVB staff are already using the presentations with local advocacy targets.

PRB Launches ENGAGE Mini-Presentations

PRB has created a series of multimedia advocacy presentations. These ENGAGE Mini-Presentations adapt PRB’s successful ENGAGE presentations into short, 1-3 minute formats, offering key data and insight on a particular topic. They are available in English as narrated videos that can be streamed online through PRB’s website, or downloaded for future use. Downloads can be easily embedded into files such as PowerPoint. New videos include “Early Marriage Has Consequences for Development”; “Unmet Need: A Persistent Challenge”; and “Fertility and Economic Growth Around the World.”

Kenya ENGAGE Presentation

Kenya’s Key: Investing in Young People” is a PRB ENGAGE multimedia presentation highlighting how reproductive health for young people lays the groundwork to improve health and well-being, manage rapid population growth, and achieve Kenya’s development goals. This 15-minute presentation was developed by Kenya’s National Council for Population and Development, Division of Reproductive Health, the Center for the Study of Adolescence, and PRB with guidance from a Kenya ENGAGE task force comprised of reproductive health professionals and youth advocates. Using data and graphics to explain the connection between investments in young people and Kenya’s development goals, the presentation aims to mobilize political commitment and resources for reproductive health care for young people.

A user guide, presentation guide, and supplemental handout are also available to provide facilitators with skills to effectively deliver the presentation. Examples of target policy audiences include government officials and policymakers, donors, health and education leaders, civic and religious leaders, advocates for reproductive health and young people, and journalists.

Winners of ENGAGE Kindle Fire Contest

Over the past year, PRB held a contest inviting submissions about how people had used ENGAGE presentations in their own work. The best entries received a Kindle Fire tablet computer. The selected winners include population and public health professionals from India, Kenya, and Uganda, whose audiences for the ENGAGE presentations included political leaders, journalists, and medical professionals. Profiles of the winning presentations will be featured on the PRB website, providing a closer look into how the ENGAGE presentations are being used around the world.

A Call to Action in West Africa

PRB’s new report, Family Planning: Francophone West Africa on the Move—A Call to Action, presents targeted areas of investments in family planning to spur progress in the region, and provides recommendations for strengthening services, mobilizing political commitment and resources, and coordinating resources and actions. The report was written by PRB with inputs from members of the Ouagadougou Partnership and other experts in family planning from West Africa. The report is also designed to serve as an advocacy tool for high-level policymakers, government officials, parliamentarians, civil society, community leaders, and other potential partners.

In November, Mountaga Touré, the executive director of the IPPF-affiliate in Mali, used the booklet as a basis for a presentation and one-hour discussion on issues and solutions to strengthening family planning in West Africa at the annual IPPF meeting of 40 country directors. The booklet is available in both English and French.

Health Policy Project (USAID)

Conceptual Framework Links Health Policies With Systems and Outcomes

The publication, Linking Health Policies with Health Systems and Health Outcomes: A Conceptual Framework, prepared by the Health Policy Project, is designed to show the flow from health-related policy development to health-related policy and program implementation. Co-authored by PRB staff, the framework has been developed based on an extensive review of health policy and health systems literature and decades of experience in policy areas related to family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and maternal health.

The framework includes the four stages of policy: identification of a problem, policy development, policy implementation, and policy monitoring and evaluation. It is meant to guide governments, organizations, and communities in understanding the links among health-related policies, programs, systems, outcomes, and better implementation and monitoring and evaluation of health-related policies. The publication is available online:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Reducing Malnutrition in Mothers and Children in Bangladesh

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the RENEW project aims to increase commitment and resources toward the alleviation of malnutrition in mothers and young children. In December, PRB, in collaboration with Eminence, a local NGO in Dhaka, launched the multimedia nutrition presentation “Bangladesh on the Move.” The launch, aimed at engaging high-level officials and program officers from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) on the costs, consequences, and solutions to reducing malnutrition, was attended by more than 100 policymakers and officials from different departments of the ministry.

Speakers from a variety of nutrition and nutrition-related sectors led a lively discussion on the lessons learned and actions needed to advance the nutrition program in Bangladesh. The discussion included exploring ways to better link nutrition to family planning and maternal and child health programs, and the role of the MOHFW in coordinating nutrition across multiple sectors. The presentation, available in English and Bangla, is being rolled out across the country in support of local advocacy initiatives.

Strengthening Advocacy Capacity in Nutrition

Following the launch of the nutrition multimedia presentation in Dhaka, PRB and Eminence held a workshop for representatives of local public-sector and private-sector organizations to teach them how to effectively use the presentation in their own advocacy programs. A variety of local groups attended the workshop, including UN REACH, Directorate General of Family Planning, EngenderHealth, HKI, Save the Children, Ipas, the Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, and the USAID-funded SPRING Project staff, among others.

Participants learned how to access different versions of the presentation and practiced making excerpts from the presentation such as the Google earth satellite map, the animated 1,000-day window of opportunity segment, and the Trendalyzer (bubble graph) scenarios. The workshop concluded with a brainstorming session on how the presentation and the accompanying materials could be used in the participants’ advocacy programs. Following the training, UN REACH contacted Eminence and offered to contribute additional funds for further dissemination of the presentation at the district level.

Multimedia Presentations As Teaching Tools


The Peace Corps will be using the RENEW Project nutrition presentation, “Nutrition on the Rise,” in their training program for all incoming volunteers working to reduce malnutrition. The Peace Corps is in the process of standardizing their training materials across all countries and recrafting their training materials to reflect state-of-the-art communication tools. PRB plans to explore further uses of the RENEW multimedia presentation and accompanying materials with Peace Corps, possibly as a potential tool for volunteers to use at post.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

PopPov Conference Update

Preparations are underway for the Seventh Annual Research Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development, from Jan. 23-26, 2013, in Oslo, Norway. PRB is collaborating with Fafo, the Research Council of Norway, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for the 2013 conference. The scientific program committee and PRB staff are finalizing the conference agenda, which includes six paper sessions, a poster session, and invited presentations by Hans Rosling of the Gapminder Foundation and Siri Tellier of the Copenhagen University School of Global Health. The agenda for the 2013 conference can be found at

Features on the Pop Pov Website

In late December, PRB launched a bibliography section on the PopPov website ( for citations and abstracts of publications produced by PopPov grant recipients. This bibliography is a resource for researchers and policymakers who wish to see the compendium of publications by PopPov grant recipients. It features a keyword search option and filters for author, publication year, publication type, and title. PopPov grant recipients may add items to the bibliography by obtaining login and password information from Kate Belohlav,

Report Highlights Research Findings

PRB is drafting The State of PopPov, an overview of PopPov and its research findings relevant to the major areas of analysis within the network—macro-level analyses and micro-level or behavioral analyses. This report will draw on selected findings from PopPov research results most pertinent to the questions outlined by the Center for Global Development’s expert working group in their 2005 report.

Ford Foundation/Cairo

Reproductive Health Education in Egypt

A new policy brief, The Need for Reproductive Health Education in Schools in Egypt, describes the current state of sexual and reproductive health education in schools in Egypt and presents the rationale and recommendations for improvements. It highlights portions of UNESCO’s guidelines related to such education and describes the pioneering work of nongovernmental organizations working in Egypt.

UNFPA/Southern Africa

Interactive Map and Report

In collaboration with UNFPA, PRB developed an interactive map and publication about young people in sub-Saharan Africa. The map and report present available data for 20 specific indicators, disaggregated by age and sex when possible. The publication provides an overview of key data findings about population, education, employment, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and gender and social protection issues, and has 45 country profiles. The available data for each indicator was ranked and sorted based on a three-tier system devised with technical guidance and input from UNFPA. Rankings identify countries that need to take immediate action to address a particular indicator; countries making progress in meeting targets but needing additional investments to see further improvement; and countries making exceptional progress toward achieving targets or goals related to a particular indicator. The map and report are available in English and French.