A Global Research Agenda for Family Planning: Results of an Exercise for Setting Research Priorities

Ali et al. (2013) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

family planning

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?


Why was it conducted at all?

By protecting women from the risk of pregnancy and its associated complications, family planning can play a vital role in the reduction of infant, child and maternal morbidity and mortality. By preventing unwanted or mistimed pregnancies, family planning can also reduce abortions by unskilled providers or under unhygienic conditions. The Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO) is committed to providing global leadership in setting the research agenda on the delivery of reproductive health services and improving access to family planning services. In 2009, staff from this department undertook a wide-ranging exercise for the prioritization of research on sexual and reproductive health. This was followed - between late 2011 and the middle of 2012 - by a separate but similar research prioritization exercise that was focused solely on family planning. This paper presents the results of the latter exercise.

What was the objective?

to develop a global research agenda that will guide investment in effective interventions to satisfy the large unmet need for modern methods of family planning

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 15 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

CHNRI approach

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: participants were asked to identify the current gaps in knowledge and potential research topics in family planning that they felt would be important over the next 10 years thereby considering options for health policy and systems research, options for improving existing interventions and options for developing entirely new health interventions and innovations in family planning. Step 2: data processing: list of topics consolidated. Step 3: participants were asked to score each of the 47 topics along five criteria

Which stakeholders took part?

Individuals who had collaborated - or were still collaborating - with WHO in family planning projects in all regions of the world, participants in WHO-supported seminars and expert sessions in family planning, program managers, experts from leading universities, research institutes, ministries of health, donor agencies, independent consultants in family planning, and authors of relevant peer-reviewed articles. Overall, 102 stakeholders participated.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Snowball sampling: identified stakeholders were asked to to suggest acquaintances who were also stakeholders working in the field of family planning techniques.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.