Prioritizing User Needs to Accelerate Contraceptive Innovation
Voluntary family planning is one of the great public health advances of the past century. Enabling women to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children reduces unintended pregnancies as well as maternal and newborn deaths. It also increases educational and economic opportunities for women and leads to healthier families and communities.
Some women do not access or use contraceptives for a variety of reasons, even when they want to avoid pregnancy. They may have misconceptions about their risk of becoming pregnant, or be deterred by the cost, inconvenience, or concerns about side effects. In some cases, opposition from family members or a limited range of available methods can be a key factor in non-use. Additionally, some current users might also be unsatisfied by current options. Continued innovation in contraceptive technology is needed to address these barriers and meet the demands of women in different circumstances and at different stages of their lives.
In 2017, the foundation invested in the CT Innovation Lab project (see futureofct.org) to imagine the future of women’s contraception. The project leveraged human-centered design methodologies to facilitate insight-driven ideation in order to generate new product ideas in women’s contraceptive technology.
Building on this work, Catapult Design is partnering with Matchboxology and PSI to better understand and prioritize unmet needs of women as they relate to modern contraceptive methods (existing, in the pipeline, and blue-sky ideas from the CTI Lab) in order to catalyze opportunities and innovation in product development. Our team of human-centered designers, market researchers, and technical advisers will engage with users/ non-users, influencers, and providers in India and Uganda, along with contraceptive funders and developers to develop targeted business cases and investment strategies to inform and drive innovation in female contraceptives, validated by demand forecasting and market potential.
This work is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This work is currently underway, so stay tuned for updates.