Applying social science expertise to designing and implementing policies and programs
In a school-based study of adolescents in Malawi, interviewers ask questions using ACASI on handheld PCs. The Population Council has developed or redesigned tools such as ACASI for research.
The Population Council’s social science researchers are experts in population policy and reform, demography, economics, survey methodology and design, statistics, and sociology. We design, test, and evaluate programs—often in collaboration with private health networks, governments, and nongovernmental organizations in developing countries. We provide technical support, inform decisionmakers about effective policies, and assist governments in implementing national programs.
Council researchers have created methodologies to facilitate research, policy development, and program improvement. Staff members have also redesigned tools to allow existing instruments to have new applications in the population and reproductive health fields. Examples include:
- Data Collection Technologies
Technical specialists and researchers at the Population Council have worked for a decade developing technologies that increase the accuracy and speed of data collection while reducing errors and cost.
Audio computer-assisted self-interviewing is an innovative technology that provides increased privacy and standardization in interviews. The Council has developed its own software to make use of this technology.
- Facts About Adolescents from the Demographic and Health Survey: Statistical Tables for Program Planning
Council researchers have analyzed Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data in a way that clearly illustrates the diversity of adolescents' lives. These analyses are used to improve understanding about the adolescent years and to design interventions.
- HIV Testing, Treatment and Prevention: Generic Tools for Operational Research
This toolkit serves as a basis for formulating research questions and designing an operational research project to address HIV treatment and prevention. Data collection instruments are included.
- HIV/AIDS Operations Research Toolkit
This toolkit provides tools and information for designing HIV-related operations research (OR) studies, from developing research protocols to analyzing and reporting results.
- Operations Research
Operations research (OR) identifies service-delivery problems and tests new programmatic solutions. Data gathered provide program managers and policy decisionmakers with the information they need to improve and expand existing services. The Council's OR work includes testing and evaluating innovative ways to deliver family planning and reproductive health services in developing countries.
- Situation Analysis
Situation Analysis is a methodology developed by Council researchers to pinpoint problems in family planning service delivery.