Step UP Strengthening evidence for programming on unintended pregnancy


Sharing results, advancing knowledge, highlighting innovation

STEP UP resources and products, arranged by key research theme:

Understanding the determinants and consequences of unintended pregnancy

Profiling unintended pregnancy to inform national policy and programming

Understanding and addressing unintended pregnancy among the urban, adolescent poor

Strengthening and integrating contraceptive services within national health systems

Increasing access to and use of medical abortion

Capacity building


What's New

Recent event: To coincide with the 2017 Family Planning Summit, STEP UP hosted a research symposium in collaboration with the Maternal Healthcare Markets Evaluation Team. The symposium — Bridging the gap to FP2020: Evidence to accelerate progress toward meeting the need for family planning — brought together nearly 200 academics, implementers, donors, governments, and civil society members to share the latest evidence on unmet need for family planning, review evidence-informed programming for addressing unmet need, and discuss a research agenda aligned to the global architecture for family planning. To view the meeting programme, please click here.

Activity update: The STEP UP team investigating reasons for unmet need for family planning (with particular attention to measurement of unintended pregnancy) recently convened at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for an analysis workshop at the end of July. During this workshop the team discussed descriptive results and lessons learned from the baseline survey, finalized the questionnaire and protocol for the follow-up round of surveys including quality control, completed descriptive analyses, conducted further contraceptive method-specific analyses, and planned next steps for 2017–2018.

New research report: Despite the significant progress that the government of Bangladesh has made towards introducing menstrual regulation with medication (MRM) into its national MR programme in recent years, there has been no systematic documentation on the process by which this has occurred, or on the approval process of local manufacturing of the mifepristone-misoprostol combination drug for MR. This research study, Introduction and Approval of Menstrual Regulation with Medication in Bangladesh: A Stakeholder Analysis, was an initiative to document the entire process of introducing MRM in the country through a stakeholder analysis. A situation analysis and mystery client visits were also conducted to generate evidence on how approval of MRM has influenced the availability and provision of MR services through private pharmacies and medicine sellers in Bangladesh.

New journal article: Despite the steep increase in contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) in Bangladesh since 1975, nearly a third of pregnancies are still unintended. This literature review -- Contraceptive practices among married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh: a review of the evidence -- examined contraceptive use among married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh and found that method discontinuation and switching, method failure, and method mix may be offsetting achievements in the CPR. The article concludes that government and independent bodies must renew their commitment to implement and monitor family planning strategies as a means to ensuring adherence to and provision of the most appropriate contraceptive method for couples.

New journal article: This article, The Challenges Posed by Demographic Change in sub-Saharan Africa: A Concise Overview, presents a regional overview of some of the main challenges posed by the huge demographic change sub-Saharan Africa has undergone in the twenty-first century (and will experience going forward). According to the UN Population Division, 35 years from now the population of Africa will be around 22 percent of the global total. The way that associated challenges are faced may have high stakes both regionally and globally. This article examines challenges of pressure on health and education provision, food security and agriculture, urban living conditions, employment and livelihoods, and intra-regional migration.