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  • Reply to: When it comes to modern contraceptives, history should not make us silent: it should make us smarter.   3 days 22 hours ago

    Great post, thank you for writing it! One nuance not mentioned is that there is lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest that, even when official policy emphasizes that MC must be completely voluntary, providers on the ground sometimes pressure women into accepting methods they’re not comfortable with. That is a real problem but should be addressed via human resource and management solutions, not by blaming the methods themselves. One other thing: if you haven’t done so check out the literature on the Colorado Family Planning Initiative.

  • Reply to: When it comes to modern contraceptives, history should not make us silent: it should make us smarter.   4 days 32 min ago

    Thank you for this thoughtful and thought-provoking piece. A few things we've learned through our qualitative and small-scale quantitative studies on contraceptive use is the importance of engaging both men and women on this topic, using the approach you describe above --helping them make informed choices about their options (and as you point out, the LARCs are not always available in low-resource settings). Women seem forced to choose between short-term contraception (condoms, pills) and sterilization. We work with savings groups of women, and family planning often comes up as a demanded topic for education support. We've learned what drives their decision on contraception use is often guided by what they hear other women say (especially regarding side effects others experience) and what they can access by secretly seeking out a health clinic since men and women rarely talk about family planning. Many barriers to break down--but you've rightly said, we can't push a particular type of contraception --because at any given moment, some women (and men) do want to become pregnant, some would like to avoid pregnancy for a while, some want t avoid it altogether, and every contraception has its benefits and side effects. Contraception use is neither a silver bullet nor a one-size-fits-all approach. We have to look at it from both a supply and demand side and both require transparency, openness, and honesty--as well as an agreement that at the most basic level we shall do no harm!

  • Reply to: Should we pay kids to read?   5 days 15 hours ago

    Thanks for the article. I think we need to remember that the entire government educational system is already built upon the extrinsic rewards of grades and test scores. Which means: "payments" of approval and social validation. One might argue that paying a high school freshman to read novels might actually be healthier than encouraging a fear of disapproval and/or a desire to impress others.

  • Reply to: Attrition rates typically aren’t that different for the control group than the treatment group – really? and why?   1 week 1 day ago


  • Reply to: Complements or Substitutes? State Presence and the Power of Traditional Leaders -- Guest post by Soeren J. Henn   1 week 2 days ago

    I am a retired professor of Sociology at the Free University of Berlin. My field of interest is Africa with special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. I have spent 5,5 years in Africa, doing research and travels in 14 states. Your field of interest is closed to mine.
    A former Ph.D. candidate Raoul Bagopha is working for Misereor, the catholic organization. He comes from the grasslands of Camaroon: In his leaves he serves as a highranking influential of a traditional chief, here one of the kings of the some 50 kingdoms in Camaroon grasslands.

    I would like to follow your research.

    Prof. Dr. Manfred Schulz
    Schwendenerstraße 29
    14195 Berlin/Germany
    e-mail: [email protected]