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Family Planning as a Strategic Focus of U.S. Foreign Policy

Author: Elizabeth Leahy Madsen, Population Action International

Family Planning as a Strategic Focus of U.S. Foreign Policy - family-planning-as-a-strategic-focus-of-us-foreign-policy

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date April 2011

20 pages


Comprehensive policies that incorporate demography, family planning, and reproductive health can promote higher levels of stability and development, thereby improving the health and livelihood of people around the world while also benefiting overarching U.S. interests. U.S. foreign aid will be more effective if increased investments are made in high population-growth countries for reproductive health and family planning programs. Reproductive health and family planning initiatives are cost-effective because they help reduce the stress that rapid population growth places on a country's economic, environmental, and social resources.

In this Working Paper, part of a series from CFR's Women and Foreign Policy program, Elizabeth Leahy Madsen recommends that the U.S. government restore its technical leadership in providing and supportive contraceptive technology research, program innovation, and tools that monitor and evaluate service delivery of family planning.

More About This Publication

Elizabeth Leahy Madsen is a senior research associate at Population Action International (PAI), where she has worked since April 2004. She leads PAI's research on the connections between population dynamics and broader development issues, including demographic security. Madsen also directs the research components of projects on reproductive health and maternal health supplies. She is the primary author of the PAI publications Reproductive Health Supplies in Six Countries and The Shape of Things to Come: Why Age Structure Matters to a Safer, More Equitable World, and has coauthored country case studies of Bangladesh, Ghana, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen. She holds a BA in international relations from Knox College and an MA in international affairs from George Washington University.

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