Men Stand Up: Engaging young men in family planning

The family planning needs, preferences and behaviors of young men (15-24) are poorly understood. Research confirms the influence of social network approval on use of family planning among young women. But inequalities in power and privilege among men and women can give men greater decision-making power and limit women’s ability to negotiate sex and use of contraceptives. Despite increasing recognition of the role of men in perpetuating harmful sexual and reproductive health outcomes, current social and behavior change communications and programs are predominantly targeted towards women, leaving out this critical and influential demographic. Young men are not a homogenous group and little is known about their diverse behavioral drivers and the role of peer networks in driving demand for and uptake of family planning services. We see an opportunity to design new technologies and service delivery approaches that are grounded in user insights from young men to increase men and women’s uptake of family planning.

In Men Stand Up we will pair an user-centered design approach with mobile-powered primary research to inform the design and prototyping of creative solutions to generate demand for family planning services among young men and women. This approach will deliver much-needed user behavioral insights, cross-validated with robust quantitative data, which will serve as the foundation for a youth-led design process.

Shannon MilroyKenya, Nigeria, Mali, India