Our team seeks to understand how conflict impacts contraceptive use using data from Sub-Saharan African countries. More specifically, we are looking at trends in contraceptive use for women in the time preceding, during, and following the conflict period–to do so, we are utilizing geocoded data for sub-Saharan Africa from the Uppsala Conflict Dataset and contraceptive calendar data from the Demographic and Health Surveys. This research has important implications for women’s health: firstly, it can help us understand the demographic consequences of conflict on family planning, births, and outcomes, and secondly, it can help inform policy interventions that can target and improve reproductive health in humanitarian settings. We are personally interested in this project because, collectively, our team is passionate about understanding health inequities and empowering women by leveraging policy as a tool. Participation in this project can help to provide us a foundational understanding of how conflict interacts with women’s reproductive autonomy in a way that gives us independent research experience that builds our understanding of quantitative analysis. So far, we have conducted a preliminary analysis of the two datasets to understand which countries might be best suited for our research in terms of contraceptive data availability and the existence and type of conflict. Going forward, we aim to dig deeper into these countries, get more comfortable with the data analysis, fine-tune our initial question and set-up, and ultimately start producing insights! We know research isn’t always a smooth and linear process, but our team is excited to see what we uncover and how we problem-solve when we reach a roadblock. The image included with this description shows the DHS contraceptive calendar data!

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