Our Work

The Gates Institute was founded with a focus on two concentrations: core leadership development and institutional support for leadership training and research. The need to strengthen individual capacities in the developing world, but also to build institutional capacities so indigenous programs could succeed. Read more about our history here.

The Gates Institute works in 24 countries in Africa and Asia. Gates Institute projects work together in countries when there is geographic overlap, as strategic opportunities arise.

Over the past 20 years, the Gates Institute has evolved and expanded into a four-pillar model that collectively further the realization of our goals. The Institute continues to fill critical gaps in knowledge and generate new evidence to address questions that drive social change by pioneering research innovation and improve research methodologies. Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA, formerly PMA2020) project is grounded in an innovative smartphone-based infrastructure that trains and deploys local female data collectors (resident enumerators, or REs), enabling high-quality, rapid generation of actionable data on family planning and other health topics.

This new knowledge is then translated into evidence-based policy, programs and practice. The Advance Family Planning (AFP) initiative is a paradigm of effective advocacy; its ground-tested AFP SMART approach has transformed the way family planning advocates maximize their time and funds to persuade those in power to take action. The interactive Family Planning Voices (FP Voices) Installation captures the stories of individuals working to improve access to family planning around the world. Through the biennial International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), the largest academic conference of its kind, the Gates Institute works with governments and partner organizations to bring together the family planning community to share knowledge and best practices, celebrate successes, and chart a course forward for family planning worldwide.

The Gates Institute remains committed to strengthening the next generation of champions, through its new initiative 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders, which highlights outstanding family planning champions 40 years old and younger, and its support of the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning (IYAFP), a network of more than 50 country coordinators and more than 1,200 youth members worldwide. With its academic partner institutions, the Gates Institute has supported the establishment and growth of centers of excellence in public health, including two schools of public health, that cultivate researchers and advocates who advance knowledge and catalyze change.

To spur such progress, the Gates Institute collaborates with its partners to invest in innovative, high return and transformational approaches to advance family planning and reproductive health services. Always at the forefront of the population agenda, the Gates Institute is driving development in demographic dividend policy, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through The Challenge Initiative (TCI), the Gates Institute is scaling up a successful urban reproductive health program to improve voluntary access to contraceptive services, supplies and information among the world's urban poor.