Magazine article Population Briefs

Shaping Policy and Practice: The Council's Peer-Reviewed Journals

Magazine article Population Briefs

Shaping Policy and Practice: The Council's Peer-Reviewed Journals

Article excerpt

The Landscape

John D. Rockefeller 3rd founded the Population Council in 1952 to study the relationship between population and human welfare. It was a bold endeavor: at the time, interest in the field of population studies was just beginning to emerge.

Rockefeller's goal was to generate policy-relevant knowledge and programs to help improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. During its first decades, the Council helped define the population field through high-quality research and programs and the publication of two scholarly journals: Studies in Family Planning and Population and Development Review. The journals continue to stimulate debate and disseminate knowledge that helps shape the field.

The Influence

Studies in Family Planning

The Council published the first issue of Studies in 1963. It included the results of groundbreaking research like the family planning program in Singur, India--considered to be the first effort to lower birth rates through education--and a review of a government-funded program to promote pre-pregnancy health and family planning in Taichung, Taiwan.

Articles have presented conceptual, analytical, and methodological insights that have changed the way family planning and sexual and reproductive health services are provided. For example, a 1977 article, "Mortality risk associated with the use of oral contraceptives," by Anrudh K. Jain, illuminated a critical link between smoking and poor health among users of the Pill and shaped FDA recommendations. And a 1990 article, "Fundamental elements of the quality of care: A simple framework," by Judith Bruce, led directly to improvements in reproductive health care delivery around the world. Today, the journal includes articles, reviews, and commentaries on relevant topics like fertility trends, HIV and AIDS, timing of pregnancy, and intimate-partner violence.

Population and Development Review

Population and Development Review (PDR) was founded by noted demographer Paul Demeny in 1975 to advance knowledge of the relationships between population processes and socioeconomic change, and to provide a forum for discussion of related issues of public policy. …

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