About Us

MLE Project Goal

The Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Project is the evaluation component of the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (Urban RH Initiative), a multi-country program in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal that aims to improve the health of the urban poor. The goal of the MLE project is to promote evidence-based decision-making in the design of integrated family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) interventions for the Urban RH Initiative.

Measuring a program’s success should begin when the program is being designed. Impact evaluation assesses the change in individuals, families or communities that can be attributed to a project, program or policy. It creates an understanding of the difference between what happened with the program and what would have happened without it. Increased evidence on effective interventions forms the foundation for better policymaking and program design.

Collaboration between MLE and Country Consortia

The Urban RH Initiative is implemented in India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal by country consortia (CCs). MLE collaborates with the four CCs to measure the impact of their programs, use monitoring and evaluation results to adjust program activities and identify promising best practices. To ensure successful local, national, regional and global dissemination and use of program results, the MLE project and the CCs foster collaborative relationships with key stakeholders to encourage evidence-based policymaking and allocation of resources that improve urban family planning programs. The Advocacy to Support the Urban RH Initiative Project, implemented by Futures Institute, will work with each CC to build strong commitment to family planning among national and municipal leaders at the country level.

Key activities conducted by MLE include managing the MLE website that serves as a global resource on urban reproductive health, distributing MLE findings and methodologies, and developing policy briefs, fact sheets and technical working papers. Through these activities, the MLE project:

  • Serves as the central technical resource for program implementers and evaluators in developing countries who seek to monitor and evaluate their urban reproductive health programs.
  • Identifies and documents evidence-based interventions and best practices for providing FP/RH services to the urban poor and shares information globally about promising approaches with policymakers, program managers and researchers.
  • Builds skills and professional capacity to undertake rigorous measurement and evaluation of integrated population, family planning, and reproductive health activities targeted at poor and vulnerable urban populations.

MLE Evaluation Design and Study Tools

MLE Evaluation of the Urban RH Initiative identifies RH needs of the urban poor. Quasi-experimental longitudinal & repeat cross-sectional design will show impact

  • Across cities
  • Over time and
  • Among the urban poor.

MLE Study Tools provide evidence-based findings to inform and improve the design of integrated FP/RH interventions.

  • Individual surveys with women and men show how fertility desires and FP behaviors change over time.
  • Facility-level surveys reveal the availability of FP methods and quality of services.
  • Cost analyses identify effective interventions that use resources efficiently.

For more information, please read MLE’s Study Design Policy Brief or full Technical Working Paper.

MLE Implementing Partners

The MLE project is implemented by the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Population Center, in collaboration with the International Center for Research on Women.

Carolina Population Center (CPC)

The CPC, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a community of outstanding scholars and professionals associated to promote research to benefit world populations; train the next generation of population scholars; build skills, capacity and improved methodologies; and disseminate data and findings to population professionals, policymakers and the public.

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

ICRW's mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs.


View the MLE brochure for additional information.