About OPA’s Research and Evaluation Activities


The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) is committed to expanding evidence and advancing best practices to improve adolescent health, reproductive health, and family planning. OPA adds to the existing evidence base by funding the exploration, development, testing, and rigorous evaluation of new and innovative interventions to significantly reduce teen pregnancy disparities. Additional research helps to advance best practices in the fields of reproductive health, family planning, adolescent sexual health, and other related preventive health services.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program

The Office of Adolescent Health, now part of OPA, has conducted evaluations as part of its TPP grant program since 2010. Current TPP research projects aim to detail how different components of TPP programs work together, help improve how communities approach teen pregnancy prevention efforts, bring context to research, and strengthen how new programs are designed.

TPP Evidence Review

This review identifies programs with evidence of effectiveness on reducing:

  1. Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  2. Sexual risk behaviors

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sponsored a systematic review of research on teen pregnancy prevention. The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence Review (TPPER) identified nine new programs in 2023, seven from projects funded by OPA, as showing evidence of effectiveness. These programs aim to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes; promote positive youth development; and advance health equity for adolescents, their families, and communities.

TPP Innovation Grants Show Positive Results

OPA funds the development and rigorous evaluation of TPP programs to expand the available research and evidence base in the teen pregnancy prevention field. TPP Tier 2 grantees address gaps in the existing evidence, reduce disparities in teen pregnancy and associated sexual and reproductive health outcomes, and serve diverse communities.

TPP Performance Measures

OPA TPP grantees collect a common set of performance measures for continuous quality improvement and to track progress toward their project goals. Performance measures are also used to inform stakeholders of progress and for sustainability efforts. Some of the categories of measures grantees collect and report include reach, dosage, fidelity and quality, partnerships, trainings, and dissemination.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-2019 Evaluations

OPA’s TPP research portfolio includes results from evaluations of TPP grantees in the FY 2010-2014 and FY 2015-2019 cohorts. OPA also sponsored overarching studies that evaluated the following:

  • Implementation and impacts of innovative program strategies
  • Untested approaches to prevent teen pregnancy
  • Sustainability, replicability, and cost of popular TPP program models
  • Scaling up and implementing multi-component community-based TPP strategies
  • Characteristics of TPP interventions such as which settings and implementation factors are effective and for whom they work best

Title X Family Planning Program

OPA funds activities to improve the delivery of family planning and other related preventive health services.

Family Planning Annual Report

All Title X grantees are required to submit data to the Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR) for monitoring and reporting program performance. FPAR provides grantee-level, aggregate data on the demographic and social characteristics of Title X clients and their use of family planning and related preventive health services, staffing, and revenue. FPAR 2.0 is the next iteration of FPAR data reporting and collects encounter-level data for Title X family planning service grantees. FPAR 2.0 allows for enhanced data collection, reporting, and analysis to allow for more opportunities to improve service delivery.

Contraceptive Care Measures

People who wish to delay or prevent pregnancy should have access to a broad range of contraceptive methods. Previously, there have been no validated clinical performance measures for contraceptive care. To address this gap, OPA developed contraceptive care measures that are endorsed by the National Quality Forum and assess the provision of contraception to all people in need of contraceptive services. This is a significant step towards prioritizing and improving the quality of family planning care for people of reproductive age. OPA also funded projects to develop electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) and a patient-reported outcome performance measure, which help to fill gaps in contraceptive care performance measures.

Service Delivery Improvement Research

OPA supports activities to improve the delivery of family planning and other related preventive health services. OPA is one of the major planners and funders of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), a nationally representative survey of people of reproductive age. The NSFG provides valuable information on family life, marriage and divorce, pregnancy, infertility, use of contraception, and general and reproductive health. It is a key data source for federal agencies, policymakers, and researchers.

Title X Implementation Study

The Title X Implementation Study will draw on a health equity framework to tell the story of Title X grantees. It will highlight their important work, their challenges, and how they overcame these challenges to reach people with quality family planning services. Study analysis is underway, and results will be shared when they become available.

OPA's Research Grantees

  • Title X Family Planning Research Grants: OPA’s Title X Family Planning Research Grant projects conduct research that will provide important data to help improve the delivery of family planning services and expand equitable access to quality sexual and reproductive health services offered under Title X of the Public Health Service Act. These grantees collect and analyze data from Title X grantees and support related research projects to improve the assessment and provision of care.
  • Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Evaluation and Research Grants: OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Research Grant projects explore new questions in teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent sexual and reproductive health to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of these programs. Funded grantees will conduct research studies to accomplish one of three goals:
    1. Identify factors that improve quality, access, and equity in TPP programs, or reduce disparities in them
    2. Identify or validate core program components essential for TPP programs and practices to produce the desired outcomes
    3. Scale and conduct testing of emerging adolescent sexual health innovations to generate early data and prepare for future rigorous impact evaluation
  • Research to Practice Grantees: OPA’s Research to Practice Center Grant projects synthesize and translate existing research into practice to improve adolescent health and help reduce teen pregnancy. Projects focus on expanding the delivery of trauma-informed and inclusive practices in adolescent sexual and reproductive health programming and care. They also bring adolescent sexual and reproductive health research-based resources to youth-serving professionals, particularly those who serve youth in the child welfare and/or justice systems, youth experiencing homelessness, and opportunity youth. Discover more about the grantees, Activate and Thrivology

Evaluation Training and Technical Assistance

OPA’s evaluation grantees receive evaluation training and technical assistance (TA) to ensure their evaluations are designed and implemented to meet research quality standards. OPA offers evaluation TA through various mechanisms including individual TA, group training, webinars, and written documents. The Reproductive Health National Training Center also provides technical assistance to OPA’s grantees.

OPA Publications

OPA publishes reports and briefs from program implementation and impact evaluations as well as economic evaluation.