Dr. Ilene Speizer

Ilene Speizer, PhD

Department of Maternal and Child Health
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center


Dr. Speizer is trained as a demographer and evaluation researcher. She has led research and evaluation studies on family planning (FP), HIV prevention, intimate partner violence and adolescent reproductive health programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and India. She is a co-leader of the MPH Global Health Concentration, an interdepartmental degree option for students interested in global health issues around maternal and child health, environmental and climate issues, health behavior, and leadership and advocacy.

Her work has included primary data collection in numerous locations using household-based study designs as well as facility-based surveys that include facility audits, provider surveys and exit interviews.

Dr. Speizer is currently the Principal Investigator on a large grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is leading the Full Access, Full Choice: Increasing Youth’s Access to Expanded Method Choice project that seeks to use existing evidence to strengthen global and country-level (focus on Kenya and Niger) programs and policies for improving access to and use of methods for young people (ages 15-24). This project has collected qualitative and quantitative data in both countries as well as qualitative data in Burkina Faso. She also led the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative Sustainability Study (ended in 2019) that examined the sustainability of family planning program activities following program completion and compared a city where the program ended to a city where the program continued. Her work often involves engaging stakeholders in the target countries to build their capacity to undertake monitoring and evaluation as well as using data to inform decision-making.

Ilene Speizer in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

RTI University Scholar
2016-2017, Research Triangle Institute

Representative Courses

MHCH 680 - Global Sexual and Reproductive Health

Research Activities

Principal Investigator, Full Access, Full Choice: Increasing Youth’s Access to Expanded Method Choice. Ending May, 2023 

Principal Investigator, Understanding and Addressing the Multilevel Influences on Uptake and Adherence to HIV Prevention Strategies among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in sub-Saharan Africa-sub contract to RTI International. Ended June, 2023.

Principal Investigator, NURHI Sustainability Study (Nigeria). Ended in 2019.

Investigator, MEASURE Evaluation Phase IV. Global Monitoring and Evaluation Project. Ended in 2020.

Co-Principal Investigator and Technical Deputy Director, Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation for the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative. Ended in 2018.

Service Activities

2017-present Co-Lead for Global Health Concentration

2023 – present Member of Gillings School of Global Public Health Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee

2019 – present Member of Carolina Population Center Training Committee

2019 – present Member of Gillings School of Global Public Health Research Council

2017 - 2018 SPH Committee to Enhance the Gillings’ Environment for Faculty

2013 - present MCH Full Professors Committee

2008 -2017 SPH Global Health Advisory Committee and advisor for the Global Health Certificate program.

Practice Activities

2023 – present Member of The Challenge Initiative External Evaluation Advisory Committee. Itad.

2022-present Co-Chair of International Union for the Scientific Study of Populations (IUSSP) Panel on Rethinking Family Planning Measurement with a Reproductive Justice and Rights Lens.

2018- 2023 International Union for the Scientific Study of Populations (IUSSP) Panel on Urban Family Planning Programs. Panel member and help to support junior investigators from developing countries.

2018-2022 FP2020 Performance Monitoring & Evidence Working Group (PME WG) Member. Supporting global measurement to increase availability, visibility, quality, and use of family planning data. In 2020, became one of the co-leads of the group.

Key Publications

"So let me give you money, you give me what I want": decision-making priorities around contraceptive method and source choice among young women in Kenya. Calhoun LM, Mandal M, Onyango B, Waga E, McGuire C, van den Akker T, Benova L, Delvaux T, Zulu EM, Speizer IS. (2023). Reproductive Health., 20.

Community perspectives on family planning service quality among users and non-users: A qualitative study from two cities in Burkina Faso. . Bazie F, Speizer IS, Castle S, Boukary K, Maytan-Joneydi A, Calhoun LM, Onadja Y, Guiella G.  (2023). Reproductive Health, 20.
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“You could find a good or a bad provider, I would say you just have to go and see”: A qualitative study of the influence of perceptions of service quality on family planning service use in Burkina Faso. Castle S, Bazie F, Maytan-Joneydi A, Boukary K, Calhoun LM, Onadja Y, Guiella G, Speizer IS.  (2024). PLOS Global Public Health, 31.

Qualitative assessment of providers’ experiences with a segmentation counseling tool for family planning in Niger. MacLachlan E, Agali BI, Maytan-Joneydi A, Chiabou S, Garba SA, Halidou IC, Speizer IS, Nouhou AM.  (2023). Reproductive Health. , 20.
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Choice of a family planning outlet in urban areas: The role of distance and quality of services in Kenya and Uganda. Winston J, Calhoun LM, Guilkey D, Macharia PM, Speizer IS.  (2023). Frontiers in Global Women’s Health, 4.

Providers’ views on hormonal family planning methods for young women: a qualitative study from Dosso, Niger [version 2; peer review: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. Maytan-Joneydi A, MacLachlan EW, Agali BI, Louis-Charles K*, Chaibou S, Garba SA, Moumouni AN, Speizer IS.  (2022). Gates Open Research , 6.
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The association of quality contraceptive counseling measures with postabortion contraceptive method acceptance and choice: Results from client exit interviews across eight countries. Acre VN, Dijkerman S, Calhoun LM, Speizer IS, Poss C, Nyamato E.  (2022). BMC Health Services Research. , 22.
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Using structural equation modeling to examine the influence of family planning social norms on modern contraceptive use in Nigeria. Mandal M, Calhoun LM, McGuire C, Speizer IS. (2022). Frontiers in Sociology.

Priority indicators for adolescent health measurement: Recommendations from the Global Action for Measurement of Adolescent Health Advisory Group. Marsh AD, Moller AB, Saewyc E, and GAMA Advisory Group.  (2022). Journal of Adolescent Health, 71(4), 455-465.

Stigma in the health clinic and implications for PrEP access and use by adolescent girls and young women: Conflicting perspectives in South Africa. Nyblade L, Ndirangu JW, Speizer IS, Browne FA, Peasant CP, Minnis A, Kline TL, Ahmed K, Howard BN, Cox EN, Rinderle A, Wechsberg WM. (2022). BMC Public Health, 22.
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Influence of family planning and immunization services integration on contraceptive use and family planning information and knowledge among clients: A cross-sectional analysis in Nigeria. Sheahan K*, Speizer I, Orgill-Meyer J, Curtis S, Weinberger M, Paul J. Bennett AV. (2022). Frontiers in Global Women’s Health.
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Contraceptive method use trajectories among young women in Kenya: A qualitative study. . Calhoun LM, Mandal M, Onyango B, Waga E, McGuire C, Zulu EM, van den Akker T, Benova L, Delvaux T and Speizer IS.  (2022). Front. Glob. Womens Health..

Longitudinal examination of young married women’s fertility and family planning intentions and how they relate to subsequent family planning use in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh India. . Speizer IS, Zavier AJF, Calhoun L, Nanda P, Saggurti N, Hainsworth G.  (2022). BMJ Open.

“I got what I came for”: A qualitative exploration into family planning client satisfaction in Dosso region, Niger. Calhoun LM, Maytan-Joneydi A, Moumouni NA, Benova L, Delvaux T, van den Akker T, Agali BI, Speizer IS. (2024). Open Access Journal of Contraception, 13.

Language and measurement of contraceptive need and making these indicators more meaningful for measuring fertility intentions of women and girls. Speizer IS, Bremner J, Farid S, and the FP2020 PME Working Group. (2022). Global Health: Science and Practice, 10(1).
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Does provider bias affect choice of a facility for family planning services by women in urban Senegal? Speizer IS, Guilkey DK, Winston J, Calhoun LM.  (2022). Studies in Family Planning.
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Use of modern contraceptives by women with disabilities in Rajasthan, India: An analysis of the annual health survey. . Casebolt TM*, Singh K, Speizer IS, Halpern C.  (2022). Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare., 31.
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The direct and indirect effects of community beliefs and attitudes on postpartum contraceptive method choice among young women ages 15-24 in Nigeria. . Guilkey DK, Speizer IS.  (1970). PLoS ONE, 17(1).
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Perceptions of peer contraceptive use and its influence on contraceptive method use and choice among young women and me in Kenya: A qualitative cross-sectional study. . Calhoun LM, Mirzoyants A, Thuku S, Benova L, Delvaux T, van der Akker T, McGuire C, Onyanog, B, Speizer IS.  (2022). Reproductive Health.

Her, his and their fertility desires and contraceptive behaviors: A focus on young couples in six countries. Speizer IS and Calhoun LM. (2022). Global Public Health..

The Mediating role of partner communication on contraceptive use among adolescent girls and young women participating in a small-group intervention in Malawi: A longitudinal analysis. . Bhushan NL*, Fisher EB, Gottfredson NS, Maman S, Speizer IS, Phanga T, Vansia D, Mtawali A, Chisinga R, Kapira M, Pettifor AE, Rosenberg NE.  (2022). Global Public Heath, 6(5), 1392-1405.


  • PhD, Demography, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1994
  • MHS, Demography, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1991
  • BA, Math / French, Washington University, 1987