Pathfinder International, a Boston-based nonprofit organization that works to remove barriers to sexual and reproductive health services, has announced two grants totaling $9.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand women's and girls' access to modern contraceptive methods.
To that end, the organization was awarded a three-year, $2.7 million grant in support of its Beyond Bias project, which addresses the different types of provider bias and behaviors that can create barriers for youth who want access to high-quality contraceptive counseling and services. Building on ongoing projects in Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and Pakistan, Pathfinder will partner with Camber Collective, YLabs, and Behavioral Economics in Reproductive Health to implement a four-phase process aimed at gathering insights, generating and testing solutions, and supporting adaptation and scaling of the effort. The organization also will work with local partners, Aga Khan Health Services in Tanzania and Greenstar in Pakistan on solution development and testing.
The second grant, $7 million over four years, will support Pathfinder's Resolve project, which aims to advance transformative interventions designed to expand the use of modern contraception among women who do not wish to become pregnant. Building on its work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, the organization will partner with Ideas42, Camber Collective, and ICRW to fund adaptive and disruptive change in family planning program design.
"For more than thirty years, Pathfinder has been at the forefront of programming to address the unique sexual and reproductive health needs and interests of young people, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to tackle one of the most persistent barriers young people face,” said Pathfinder interim-CEO Caroline Crosbie. "People don't make choices about their reproductive health in a vacuum. Their providers, families, society, gender norms, religion, and other factors all play a role. As a global community, we need to be looking how all these factors come into play and design programs that acknowledge and account for these dynamics."