Aisha Dasgupta

Aisha Dasgupta - 2016 Nominee
Position: Impact Manager
Organization: Marie Stopes International
Aisha worked with me and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute, Columbia University. She gets the big picture, the link between development, environment and population, knowing that FP is central. She is lead demographer at Marie Stopes with PhD on FP – Sonia Sachs, Director of Health at Earth Institute, Columbia University
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been particularly curious about the Malawi-puzzle: why fertility remains so high despite relatively high reported use of contraception. My PhD thesis and resulting academic papers revealed a number of factors contributing to this conundrum, which ultimately led me to scrutinise conventional family planning indicators, and develop new ways of measuring contraceptive use. I have brought these experiences to bear on my current work, and continue to develop or improve metrics for family planning. To me, it’s crucial that our sector has a standardised set of metrics that enables us to track progress towards our shared goals, helps us to make comparisons between locales and over time, and ultimately informs us on when we need to make corrections or step it up!

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My passion for FP stems from my passion for local environmental resources. I saw the stresses communities face when grasslands transform to shrub-lands, and when there are declines in firewood, biodiversity, water sources and soil productivity. These are specific to the needs and concerns of the poor in small village communities. As a teenager I couldn’t imagine a bright future for the poorest parts of the world, in the face of diminishing environmental resources, and rapid population growth.

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