In 2016, 142 million women had an unmet need for modern methods of contraception; 73% of them lived in the world’s poorest countries. After investigating global access to essential medicines in 2015 and access to vaccines in 2017, Civio will expand its award-winning investigation Medicamentalia to report on global access to contraceptives and reproductive health. We will do so combining data journalism and storytelling, focused on personal stories of women in countries where access is most difficult.

Medicamentalia – Contraceptives: The birth control gap is one of the 15 projects awarded in the ninth round of the Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR), focused on Gender Equality, Grant Programme, launched by the European Journalism Center with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reward quality journalism. This is the same programme that made possible Medicamentalia’s previous editions, awarded Investigation of the Year (small newsroom) in 2016 at the Data Journalism Awards and the Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Prize (Innovation category).

With Medicamentalia – Contraceptives: The birth control gap we will dig into the differences in access to contraception between countries and how this gap affects women -and their families- especially in the poorest countries. We aim to give voice to many of these women and to report on their challenges, answering questions such as how are countries procuring these drugs and negotiating with pharmaceutical providers, if cost and affordability are critical factors (among others) in accessing modern contraception, or how critical are other factors such as cultural beliefs, lack of knowledge, partners’ opposition, etc.

Combining interviews with experts, field reporting, data analysis and collaborating with local female journalists, the investigation will highlight the human stories and enable a wider evidence-based public debate on the topic. Medicamentalia – Contraceptives: The birth control gap will be funded with €20.360. The stories will be published and distributed by the end of 2017 in several languages thanks to a netwok of media partners [La Sexta (ES), One World Magazine (NL), Correctiv (DE), Infolibre (Mediapart (FR) Spanish partner), MO Magazine (BE)]. We will be glad to collaborate with more news organisations in other countries: in you are interested in re-publishing this investigation write to us and we will help you to make it happen. All the content produced will be Creative Commons. Thanks to the EJC for its trust and congratulations to the rest of the funded projects. Want to know more about Medicamentalia?