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Beginning with the End In Mind, A Series

“Beginning with the end in mind"; in the field of contraceptive research and development, we often use this phrase to highlight the importance of keeping the needs and perspectives of potential end users front-and-center as we design, test, evaluate, and introduce new products and services. At the heart of efforts to “begin with the end in mind” are considerations to ensure acceptability, affordability, accessibility, and equity.

The CTI Exchange is exploring this topic through the "Beginning with the End in Mind" series, which dives deeper into key issues and brings together as many perspectives and voices as possible:

  • In "How can we more effectively “begin with the end in mind” in contraceptive R&D?", Emily Hoppes of FHI 360 introduces the series and explains the key concepts of acceptability, accessibility, affordability, and equity.

  • Next, FHI 360's Dr. Amelia Mackenzie, poses four “what if” questions, imagining what improved integration of social-behavioral research into contraceptive R&D could look like in "Reimagining how social-behavioral research can be integrated into contraceptive R&D."

  • In celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day, Drs. Chelsea Polis, Funmilola (Funmi) OlaOlorun, and Simon Kibira explore how we can understand the broad spectrum of perspectives on contraceptive-induced menstrual changes (CIMCs) and incorporate these considerations into the development and evaluation of new contraceptive products in this video discussion.

  • Next in "Four Things to Know About Decolonization for Contraceptive R&D", Duke University student and FHI 360 intern Shana Abraham explores the ways racism and colonialist history and principles have shaped family planning and contraceptive R&D; and how in reflecting on these historical roots, we can more effectively improve our processes to create space for critical action to reduce global health inequities.

  • In this next video discussion, Grace Gayoso Pasion of Knowledge SUCCESS sits down with Lisa B. Haddad, Saumya RamaRao, and Harriet Birungi of the Population Council to discuss the importance of self-care. They call for research and development that expands options for more and better self-managed contraceptive methods in order to increase access, acceptability, affordability, and equity for family planning users globally.

  • Next, FHI 360 Research Fellow, Marissa Velarde reflects on a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Salient Advisory about about how health care supply chain start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa are transforming the distribution ecosystem to improve acceptability and accessibility. Read it here.

  • In a conversation livestreamed on the CTI Exchange, Laneta Dorflinger, Distinguished Scientist and Director of Product Development and Introduction at FHI 360, and Mark Barone, Deputy Director for Expand Method Choice at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation discussed the future of contraceptive R&D and how we can design and develop new contraceptive methods that will be more acceptable, accessible, and affordable.

  • On November 10, 2021 the CTI Exchange hosted a panel discussion between social norms experts and contraceptive developers that shed light on how and why social norms research can be important and useful for those working in contraceptive R&D. Access social norms resources and watch the full recording of the event here.

  • Next, in "Advancing Self-Care with Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs)," CAMI health interns Hannah Rubens and Madison Langrin argue that research and development (R&D) of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) has the potential to expand self-care options in the sexual and reproductive health space and increase accessibility and acceptability of both contraception and HIV/STI prevention.

  • In recognition of Pride Month, we explored the issue of including transgender and gender diverse persons in contraceptive research and development (R&D). In this blog, Lee Sims of USAID outlines three straightforward steps product developers can take to achieve more inclusive R&D. More here.

  • Last year, FHI 360 fellow, Margaret Gaw had the opportunity to sit down with four healthcare providers working with patients in Zambia, Brazil, Nigeria, and Kenya. They reflect on the benefits and barriers of current contraceptives and their ideas for future methods here.

Keep visiting this post as the series continues for more updates and links!

Join the Conversation

As part of the “beginning with the end in mind” series, we want to hear from you. Please reach out if you have ideas for blog posts, video series, webinars, infographics, or any other contributions. And please help us amplify this important content on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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