With the global population continuing to grow and men’s options for contraception still limited to condoms and vasectomy, the time is ripe for another contraception revolution¹.
Male Contraceptive Initiative’s mission is, “to empower men, and couples, to fully contribute to family planning goals by providing them the resources they need for reproductive autonomy.” It is how we articulate our most hopeful vision of the future: one where there is reproductive autonomy for all people. This vision and associated mission directs our daily activities, which encompass financial support to the male contraception research community and advocating for the development of additional male contraceptives.
An organization’s vision, mission, and values are its heart and soul. They act as the North Star that guides all organizational activities, from strategy to execution. Male Contraceptive Initiative identified the need to update and revise these defining organizational statements in order to improve our impact and better evolve towards and align with current realities.
We sat with the Intended showrunners to get a behind the scenes look at the creative journey of producing this science-based dialogue all about the past, present, and future of male contraception.
Here’s a Q&A with our own Heather Vahdat, Logan Nickels, and Kevin Shane.
We cite a statistic all the time – that close 50% of pregnancies, both in the US and globally, are unintended. And that’s a staggering number. But we often don’t talk about what is intended.
As with the rest of the world, COVID-19 has turned our lives at Male Contraceptive Initiative upside down. We have closed our office in Durham and taken to working from our respective homes the past week, and each of us is doing our part via social distancing and nearly compulsive hand-washing. These are uncertain days, to say the least.
The end of each year is always a time of reflection and appreciation. It is a time to review the previous months and all of the experiences that helped define the year. Here at Male Contraceptive Initiative, we have spent the past few weeks marveling at what your support has accomplished in 2019:
Intro from Male Contraceptive Initiative Executive Director Heather Vahdat :
Since joining Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI) in 2018, one of my dreams was to establish a Youth Advisory Board (YAB). The seed of this idea was first planted when I was introduced to YTH, an organization that I now have the pleasure of calling close colleagues. I was immediately impressed by YTH’s deliberate and outward-facing commitment to youth. It occurred to me that the inclusion of youth perspectives in sexual and reproductive health research, programs, and policy should be a best practice for all organizations. In the case of MCI, I believe it is a critical practice given that today’s young men and their partners will be the first beneficiaries of non-hormonal, reversible, male contraceptive methods that are currently in development.
Heather and Kevin traveled to Kigali, Rwanda for the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in November. This is the 5th ICFP, a biennial event which brings together the family planning community to “share best practices, celebrate successes, and chart a course forward.” It is a convening of thousands practitioners, political leaders, scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and youth to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes, and identify next steps toward realizing a world where access to quality, choice-optimized contraception is a reality.