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FHI 360 expands leadership in contraceptive technology innovation through Envision FP award from USAID

August 26, 2015

DURHAM, NC — FHI 360, which has been a global leader in family planning (FP) research for more than four decades, has received Envision FP: Transforming Contraception to Expand Access and Choice, a new five-year award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Under Envision FP, USAID's flagship contraceptive technology research project, FHI 360 will develop, introduce and expand understanding of family planning methods to enhance choice and reduce unmet need worldwide. 

The Envision FP project will be directed by Dr. Laneta Dorflinger, Distinguished Scientist and Director of Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) at FHI 360. Dr. Gregory S. Kopf, Director of Research and Development of CTI, will also serve on the project’s management team. “We envision a world in which all individuals and families have access to an expanded range of highly effective and safe contraceptive methods to meet changing needs throughout their reproductive lives,” said Dr. Dorflinger. “Family planning is unequivocally one of the most cost-effective interventions available to improve maternal and child health and reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions. However, there are more than 220 million women in developing countries who want to avoid or delay pregnancy but are not using modern contraceptives, often because the products currently available do not meet their needs or preferences.” 

The Envision FP research agenda will focus on refining and improving existing methods as well as on developing new contraceptives. In addition, FHI 360 will work with country-based stakeholders to respond to product-related issues that arise and may impact provision. 

“FHI 360 has more than 40 years of experience leading family planning and reproductive health research to support contraceptive development and strengthen programs globally,” said Dr. Timothy Mastro, Director of Global Health, Population and Nutrition at FHI 360. “We are honored to have the opportunity to continue this work with USAID to help reach the world’s most vulnerable populations with new and improved contractive technologies.” 

Under Envision FP, FHI 360 will work with a wide range of public and private sector partners to identify and evaluate innovative solutions that address the challenges facing contraceptive users, providers and programs. Key product development collaborators will include the Population Council and Oregon Health and Science University

The Envision FP project will build on existing work being led by FHI 360 under the CTI Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as ongoing efforts to develop a biodegradable implant and a longer-acting contraceptive injectable and to expand access to Sino-implant (II). “Our work with our partners will emphasize improving the contraceptive method mix through approaches such as lowering cost, decreasing side effects, extending the duration of existing products and increasing user control,” said Dr. Dorflinger. 

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

​The U.S. Agency for International Development is leading the U.S. government's efforts to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. USAID is the world’s largest bilateral donor to family planning programs and the largest supporter of the development of safe, effective, and acceptable contraceptive technologies designed specifically for provision and use in low-resource settings. For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit