Gillings School Directory

Ilene Speizer, PhD

Dr. Ilene Speizer

Ilene Speizer, PhD

Department of Maternal and Child Health
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center
  • CB #7445
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

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, a new interdepartmental degree option for students applying for 2019 admission.

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. 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.

Honors and Awards

RTI University Scholar

2016-2017, Research Triangle Institute

Representative Courses

MHCH 680 - Global Sexual and Reproductive Health

Research Activities

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.

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

Principal Investigator, NURHI Sustainability Study (Nigeria).

Investigator, MEASURE Evaluation Phase IV. Global Monitoring and Evaluation Project.

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

Service Activities

2017-present  Co-Lead for Global Health Concentration

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

2013-present  MCH Full Professors Committee

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

Practice Activities

FP2020 Performance Monitoring & Evidence Working Group (PME WG) Member. Supporting global measurement to increase availability, visibility, quality, and use of family planning data.

Key Publications

Her, his and their fertility desires and contraceptive behaviors: A focus on young couples in six countries. Speizer IS and Calhoun LM. (2021). Global Public Health, May.
View publication

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. (2021). Global Public Health, 6(5).
View publication

The association of empowerment measures with maternal, child, and family planning outcomes in Plateau State Nigeria by urban-rural residence. Singh K, Speizer IS, Ijdi RE, Calhoun LM.  (2021). BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 21(1).

Development of integration indexes to determine the extent of family planning and child immunization services integration in health facilities in urban areas of Nigeria. Sheahan KL*, Orgill-Meyer J, Speizer IS, Curtis S, Paul J, Weinberger M, Bennett AV.  (2021). Reproductive Health, 18(1).

Influences on contraceptive method choice among adolescent women across urban centers in Nigeria: A qualitative study. Sanchez EK*, McGuire C, Calhoun LM, Hainsworth G, Speizer IS (2021). Contraception and Reproductive Medicine, 6(1).

Associations of Father and Adult Male Presence with First Pregnancy and HIV Infection: Longitudinal Evidence from Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Rural South Africa (HPTN 068). Albert LM*, Edwards J, Pence B, Speizer IS, Hills S, Kahn K, Gómez-Olive FX, Wagner RG, Twine R, Pettifor A. (2021). AIDS and Behavior.

Government stakeholders’ perspectives on the family planning environment in three Nigerian cities: qualitative findings from the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) Sustainability Study. Mcguire C, Calhoun LM, Mumuni T, Maytan-Joneydi A, Odeku M, Speizer IS. (2020). Global Health Action, 13(1).

Longitudinal examination of changing fertility intentions and behaviors over a four-year period in urban Senegal. Speizer IS, Escamilla V, Lance PM, Guilkey DK.  (2020). Reproductive Health, 17(38).

Influences of health facility type for delivery and experience of cesarean section on maternal and newborn postnatal care between birth and facility discharge in Malawi. Kim T*, Singh K, Speizer IS, Lemani C. (2020). BMC Health Services Research, 20(139).

Measurement error in discrete health facility choice models: An example from urban Senegal. Cronin CJ, Guilkey DK, Speizer IS.  (2019). Journal of Applied Econometrics, 34(7), 1102-1120.

On the sustainability of a family planning program in Nigeria when funding ends. Speizer IS, Guilkey DK, Escamilla V, Lance PM, Calhoun LM, Ojogun OT, Fasiku D.  (2019). PLoS ONE, 14(9).

Exploring the associations between physical and sexual gender-based violence and HIV among women who use substances in South Africa: the role of agency and alcohol. C Bonner, F Browne, J Ndirangu, B Howard, W Zule, I Speizer, T Kline, W Wechsberg (2019). AIDS care.

Condom Use, Multiple Rounds of Sex, and Alcohol Use Among South African Women Who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs: An Event-Level Analysis. W Zule, I Speizer, F Browne, B Howard, W Wechsberg (2018). Sexually transmitted diseases, 45(12), 786-790.

Evaluation of a maternity waiting home and community education program in two districts of Malawi. K Singh, I Speizer, E Kim, C Lemani, J Tang, A Phoya (2018). BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 18(1), 457.


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

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