For as long as there have been family planning programs, there has been family planning research. At the theoretical level, researchers examine the effect of fertility on health and socioeconomic development and study the determinants of fertility for individuals and populations. At the policy level, studies explore the role of family planning programs in modifying fertility and health. The development of new contraceptives is accompanied by clinical and pre-introductory trials in program settings. Surveys measure changes in contraceptive use and fertility, and the results are used to make decisions affecting programs. Finally, programs themselves carry out operations research (OR) to improve service delivery. This book provides an overview of how OR is used by family planning programs. The readings illustrate many of the major issues and topics that have benefited from OR, as well as many of the research designs encountered among OR studies. The book also provides information about the problems that programs and researchers encounter in carrying out OR and the challenges faced in translating research findings into changes in day-to-day program operations.
Foreit, James R. and Tomas Frejka. 1998. "Family Planning Operations Research: A Book of Readings." New York: Population Council.