I have been particularly curious about the Malawi-puzzle: why fertility remains so high despite relatively high reported use of contraception. My PhD thesis and resulting academic papers revealed a number of factors contributing to this conundrum, which ultimately led me to scrutinise conventional family planning indicators, and develop new ways of measuring contraceptive use. I have brought these experiences to bear on my current work, and continue to develop or improve metrics for family planning. To me, it’s crucial that our sector has a standardised set of metrics that enables us to track progress towards our shared goals, helps us to make comparisons between locales and over time, and ultimately informs us on when we need to make corrections or step it up!
My passion for FP stems from my passion for local environmental resources. I saw the stresses communities face when grasslands transform to shrub-lands, and when there are declines in firewood, biodiversity, water sources and soil productivity. These are specific to the needs and concerns of the poor in small village communities. As a teenager I couldn’t imagine a bright future for the poorest parts of the world, in the face of diminishing environmental resources, and rapid population growth.