Grant is closed

Sep 2015 – Dec 2017

Adding It Up for Adolescents



Multiple countries – Global

To make the case for investing in adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

$190,000 Multi-Year Grant Value

Other funders

  • DFID -

  • Sida -

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This investment will support the Guttmacher Institute to conduct research into the costs and benefits of satisfying adolescent needs for reproductive health services. Adding It Up for Adolescents fills a crucial evidence gap by estimating the costs and benefits of investing in adolescent reproductive health. Guttmacher will do this through an analysis of existing data from more than 50 countries that estimates:

- the number of adolescent girls who have an unmet need for contraception

- the investment required to meet their needs

- the health and financial benefits that would come from doing so. 

The project also examines the attitudes and behaviours of the youngest adolescents (those aged 10-14), who are often neglected despite being at a critical stage of development. Finally, it makes projections of adolescents’ need for contraceptive services in five-year intervals through to 2035. The research will be accessible and relevant to a wide range of stakeholders, and paired with action-oriented recommendations. Using a multi-channel communications and advocacy strategy, the evidence and recommendations will be deployed to ensure the widest possible visibility and uptake in policy and programme development. 


The ‘Adding it Up’ report was launched at ‘Women Deliver’ in May 2016. It was promoted at the conference and online, with 3 press events and a number of side events. Key findings from the report include:

  • In 2016, 23 million adolescents aged 15-19 in developing regions had an unmet need for contraception. They are therefore at increased risk of unintended pregnancy and resulting complications, including unsafe abortion, complications at the time of birth etc
  • Improving services for current contraceptive users and expanding them to serve those with unmet need will cost an estimated $770 million annually ($21 per user), or $548 million more than current costs.
  • Meeting the unmet need for modern contraception of women aged 15–19 would reduce unintended pregnancies among this age-group by 6.0 million annually. That would mean averting 2.1 million unplanned births, 3.2 million abortions and 5,600 maternal deaths.
  • The dramatic reduction in unintended pregnancies would spare women and their families the adverse consequences of early childbearing, reap savings in maternal and child health care, and boost young women’s education and economic prospects

Adding It Up Report

The ‘Adding It Up’ report makes the first ever global investment case for providing contraception to adolescents. It provides an evidence base for national governments and donors to invest in this issue, including through the GFF investment cases. Further data is expected in the second quarter of 2017. 

Click here to read the latest Adding It Up report.