Population Services International
< BEST CHARITIES

Population Services International

Population Services International (PSI) is not tax-deductible in Australia. Population Services International helps women live healthier and plan the families they desire. A large part of PSI’s work focuses on sexual and reproductive health and contraception, but they also are involved with HIV, malaria, water, sanitation and hygiene, and non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension, and cervical cancer.

Donate to PSI via US Site [Not Tax Deductible in Australia]

Founded
1970
Active in
50
countries
Global network of
6,400
local experts
Added an estimated
24.1M
years of healthy lives in 2018

The problem: lack of access to family planning

There are 214 million women and girls in the developing world who want contraception, but can’t access or afford it. [1] Those who do have access often haven’t been educated about the range of healthcare and family planning options available, or face barriers such as religious, social, and cultural norms.

These women run high risks of complications during pregnancy — even death. They often drop out of school and struggle to financially care for their families. The burden to break the cycle of extreme poverty grows.

There are 214 million women and girls in the developing world who want contraception, but can’t access or afford it.
Cambodian mother smiling down at baby in her arms

The solution: consumer-powered healthcare

When we approach health care from the consumer’s perspective, individuals are empowered to make their own best health decisions, ensuring they have access to the educational and professional opportunities they want. As the largest youth population in history reaches reproductive age, there’s a huge opportunity to teach young people about their contraceptive choices.

How Population Services International works

For 50 years, PSI has been committed to using measurement and evaluation to identify and develop the most impactful, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to some of the most challenging health issues in the developing world. They use television, radio, print, social media, and one-on-one outreach to educate and promote adoption of healthy behaviors. They also work in partnership with local healthcare workers to leverage existing infrastructures and broaden their impact.

PSI believes that universal health coverage can only be achieved by taking a business approach to saving lives. Borrowing a model most commonly used in for-profit enterprises, PSI oversees 21 healthcare franchise networks that provide products and services to millions of people each year. Their 10,000+ franchisees increase access to affordable care, reducing the strain on overstretched healthcare systems and creating economic opportunities for local communities.

Women sitting in a contraception education clinic in Tanzania

To maximize impact, PSI targets health care issues that are cost-effective to treat, yet often remain overlooked in the developing world. In 2018, their spectrum of accomplishments included:

  • Inserting almost 2 million long-acting reversible contraceptives (including implants and IUDs)
  • Distributing 50 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 620,000 diarrhea treatment kits, and over 5.17 million male and female condoms
  • Providing over 2 million HIV/STI testing and counseling sessions
  • Supplying over 2 million HIV self-test kits to increase the adoption of HIV prevention and treatment

PSI strives for the double bottom line of stronger health outcomes and self-sustaining revenue.

What makes Population Services International so effective


Global healthcare networks

PSI oversees more than 10,000 healthcare franchisees within 21 networks, serving millions of people across 34 countries.

Human-centered design

PSI’s proprietary Keystone Design Framework helps drive effective, scalable, and sustainable interventions that reach and support individuals in the developing world.

Income-based services

PSI provides care at commercial, subsidized, and free rates, depending on how much an individual, family, or community can afford. All clients have access to affordable healthcare, regardless of income.

Youth outreach

To better reach youth, PSI has hired more young people to design, implement, and scale interventions in target countries so individuals can learn about health options from workers who best understand their needs.

Careful monitoring

PSI evaluates their impact in much the same way a for-profit business measures its profits. They use sophisticated health models to inform their strategy and ensure programs are targeted, economical, and effective. [2]

Cost-effectiveness

Not all of PSI’s work can be measured by DALY (disability-adjusted life year) averted, but the work that can costs US$24.14 per year of healthy life per person — or US$48.28 for a mother and child.

Population Services International’s accountability and partnerships

PSI is committed to transparency. They share their annual reports and financial statements on their website. [3]

PSI partners with governments and major international organizations including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom Department for International Affairs (DFID), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They also work with strategic partners, including Abbott, Unilever, and Pfizer, to sustain and scale their healthcare efforts.

Recognition for Population Services International

PSI has been recognized by DFID, The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, for their innovative and impact-driven global health initiatives.

Most recently, PSI was awarded the 2019 Accelerators Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their Smart Start Adolescents 360 project in Ethiopia. Smart Start introduces young couples to contraceptive counseling through financial planning, and boasts a 74% voluntary acceptance rate for contraceptives among young married girls. [4]

Frequently Asked Questions

How does PSI distribute its products and services?

PSI partners with local governments, ministries of health, and local organizations to create health solutions. In addition to establishing and overseeing local healthcare franchises, PSI also offers training and support to private-sector clinics, which is where most people from resource-poor communities seek health services.

Are PSI’s interventions evidence-backed?

PSI helps implement and scale proven cost-effective interventions, as well as investing in promising pilot programs. For example, PSI offers voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) following studies demonstrating that VMMC can reduce female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60%. Since 2007, PSI estimates that its VMMC programs have averted more than a quarter million cases of HIV transmission. [5]

Why does The Life You Can Save recommend Population Services International?

Our recommendation of PSI dates back to when our founder, Peter Singer, was writing his book The Life You Can Save. As discussed in the book, some people believe that population growth is a major factor in poverty and environmental destruction. Peter therefore wanted to include a family planning organization on his list of recommended charities, and a friend who had done an evaluation of PSI’s work in India thought it was the best organization working in this area. We continue to hear positive things about PSI’s efficacy from people knowledgeable in this space.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

US donors can make tax-deductible gifts via The Life You Can Save.