Family planning science and practice lessons from the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning

Jean Christophe Rusatira, Claire Silberg, Alexandria Mickler, Carolina Salmeron, Jean Olivier Twahirwa Rwema, Maia Johnstone, Michelle Martinez, Jose G. Rimon, Linnea Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Since 2009, the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has served as an opportunity for the global reproductive health community to share FP advances and practice lessons in the areas of research, programming, and advocacy. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize the key results and findings presented by members of the FP community at the 2018 ICFP Conference. Methods More than 700 abstracts from all 15 conference tracks were reviewed and 64 abstracts total were selected for this paper based on the novelty and urgency of the findings. The content analysis of conference abstracts were grouped into six final thematic areas. Results 1) Investing in family planning for a lifetime of returns. FP continues to face a shortage of funding. Domestically based and locally owned funding models provide alternative financing solutions. 2) Addressing inequities in family planning for key populations. Various populations still face challenges in accessing FP. Youth-inclusive and user-centered programming show promise in addressing such challenges. 3) Reproductive justice, Unsafe abortions tend to be more common among younger, poor, uneducated and rural women. Legislation is still needed to facilitate a culture of safe abortions. 4) Couple dynamics and decision-making. Couples who share equitable responsibility in decision-making processes are more likely to use contraceptives; couple disagreement influences women’s decisions to covertly use FP. 5) Male involvement in programming. Male champions can successfully promote uptake of FP. Gender-transformative programming promotes gender equity and impacts behavior change. 6) Breakthroughs in novel contraceptives and systems improvement in family planning. Recent advances include user-centered contraceptive technologies that allow for self-administration and information systems which optimize supply chain management. Conclusion The research, advocacy, and programmatic abstracts at ICFP 2018 highlighted research advances, showcased implementation science wins, and provided evidence of critical knowledge gaps in global FP access and use

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAAS Open Research
StatePublished - 2020


  • contraceptive technology
  • Family planning
  • gender empowerment
  • reproductive health
  • reproductive rights
  • return on investment
  • women empowerment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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