Leslie Heyer, founder of Cycle Technologies spoke at the recent DevTech – Innovative Solutions for Poverty Alleviation event at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC on April 9th 2014.
Heyer presented to a group of global thought leaders discussing solutions to decrease poverty with cost efficient, impactful solutions.
Heyer's presentation focused on reproductive health and how to address the unmet need for family planning.
- Approximately 80 million unplanned pregnancies occur each year worldwide with 65 million of these in the developing world.
- 95% of unplanned pregnancies happen to women who are either not using birth control or are using it inconsistently.
In the presentation, Heyer outlined the reasons women give for not using birth control consistently which includes concerns about side effects, not expecting to have intercourse, misjudging pregnancy risk, male partner unwillingness, and access. Heyer then discussed CycleBeads and how this simple fertility tool is a solution that addresses these issues. She demonstrated how all of the CycleBeads tools work, the global impact that this family planning method has had to date – including in many of the countries with the most unmet need for family planning, and talked specifically about opportunities for the new mobile technologies to have a significant impact in both the industrial and developing worlds.
Other presenters included Invest2Innovate, Solvatten, and Immunize India as well as a panel discussion with Evan Burfield, Co-founder - 1776; David Ferguson, Director - Center for Development Innovation, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID; Ulf Källstig, Chief of Staff - Swedish International Development Agency (Sida); Kalsoom Lakhani, Founder and CEO - Invest2Innovate and Kofi Taha, Associate Director - MIT D-Lab.
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