Use of modern contraception and birth-spacing reduce the risks of pregnancy for mothers, reduce infant mortality, and promote economic development. Our family planning campaigns increase the uptake of modern contraceptive methods and promote sexual and reproductive health.


The Benefits of Family Planning

Having children less than 2 years apart raises the risk of a child aged 1-4 dying by about 40%. Increased access to family planning is associated with increased educational participation and economic benefits through the demographic dividend (which is the boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents).

Worldwide, the number of families who are able to plan how many children to have is steadily increasing, with 49% of women of reproductive age (ages 15-49) using some form of contraception in 2019. Progress is slower in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has some of the highest fertility rates in the world and the lowest rate of contraceptive use (29%). 58 million women in Africa currently have an unmet need for contraception, and this number could grow by 39 million over the next decade.

SWEDD family planning gender equality animation still

The numbers

reproductive aged women used contraception worldwide in 2019
of women in Sub-Saharan Africa used contraception in 2019
58 million
African women have an unmet need for contraception

Our Family Planning Work

Increasing Demand, Accelerating Contraceptive Uptake

Large investments have been made to increase the availability of contraceptives in low-income countries. In many cases the main barriers to contraceptive uptake are rooted in cultural beliefs and social norms; they include lack of information, stigma, and fears of side-effects.

Our family planning campaigns challenge misinformation, highlight the health and economic benefits of family planning and share information about different contraceptive methods, ultimately generating demand for modern contraceptives and family planning. Our campaigns emphasise the importance of male engagement in family planning and support women to make their own choices.

Randomised controlled trial evidence shows that our family planning campaigns can be an extremely cost-effective add-on to supply side investments. Radio, TV and mobile phones are the dominant information sources in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. With effective messaging, we can use these channels to reach millions of people at a time and significantly accelerate the uptake of modern contraception.