Takudzwa Sayi

Takudzwa Sayi - 2019 Nominee
Position: Postdoctoral Scholar in Maternal and Child Health
Organization: University of South Florida
Current Location: United States, North America
Ph.D. from Princeton University/Demography
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Master of Arts in Demography. 2013. Princeton University
Master of Philosophy in Demography. 2009. University of Cape Town
Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Actuarial Science. 2007. National University of Science and Technology
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Grand Challenges Explorations
    Awarding Organization:
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Date Awarded:
    May 1, 2017
  • Award:
    Poster session award, session:"Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health 2”
    Awarding Organization:
    Population Association of America
    Date Awarded:
    April 1, 2016
  • Award:
    Policy Communication Fellowship
    Awarding Organization:
    Population Reference Bureau
    Date Awarded:
    March 24, 2014
75 Public Votes Reached!
Zimbawe-born, Ph.D. and M.A. in Demography (2015, 2013) from Princeton University, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida. Research on fertility transition in Zimbawe cited 77 times. Gates grant research recipient. – Abraham Salinas, Research Faculty at University of South Florida
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

For the past decade, I have contributed to generation of knowledge on family planning patterns, behaviors, perspectives, and outcomes by conducting research on family planning in sub-Saharan Africa and in the U.S. I have received support for my research through the Bill & Melinda Gates’ Grand Challenges Explorations grant to conduct research in Zimbabwe to contribute insights towards development of family planning technologies. I disseminate my work at conferences, through journal publications, and by generating recommendations for funders and stakeholders such as community partners and agencies I work with.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I began working on research on family planning during my masters studies at the University of Cape Town, during which I worked with Professor Moultrie on research on birth intervals in Zimbabwe and other African countries. I developed an interest in ensuring that women and men could make choices about when to have children and how many they wanted to have, and to have the ability to attain these goals because these are factors that can affect health and wellbeing of women and their families.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

As principal investigator on a recently completed grant-funded project on understanding perspectives on side effects of contraceptives in Zimbabwe, I led a team of researchers in designing the project, data collection, data analysis and dissemination.
I also work as a mentor to students who work on research in family planning. As a mentor, I assist them in conceptualizing their research, determining appropriate methods for collecting and/or analyzing data, and in disseminating findings.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I plan to use the platform to connect with researchers and other experts to identify areas of research and to form collaborations to design studies that help generate useful and timely data. I am passionate about developing students’ research skills, so I would use the $1,000 grant to sponsor a student to attend a family planning workshop or conference.

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