In the late 1960s, the Carolina Population Center provided technical assistance to family planning programs in North Carolina, and to countries throughout the world on family planning, fertility control techniques, training of health workers, commercial marketing strategies of contraceptive methods, and program development and management.

When CPC began to change its mission from providing technical assistance to developing a center devoted to population research, a number of active, successful technical assistance projects reestablished themselves beyond CPC and beyond the University of North Carolina. Some people may wonder why there are so many nonprofit organizations based in the Research Triangle in North Carolina that address reproductive health and international development. The answer is that most of them originated at CPC. The following are descriptions of successful organizations and businesses that had their start at CPC.

Family Health International

What is now Family Health International first began as a grant at the Carolina Population Center to develop and establish the International Fertility Research Program (IFRP). USAID funded the project in 1971 to "accelerate the development and testing of new and improved means of fertility control for worldwide use." Elton Kessel, an epidemiologist and the President and Executive Director of the Pathfinder Fund in Boston from 1966 to 1969, came to the University of North Carolina, where he founded and directed the program.

The International Fertility Research Program worked in less developed countries to improve research in fertility control techniques and to collect and disseminate data for the improvement of family planning services. In response to CPC's shift toward research, IFRP separated from CPC and UNC to become an independent nonprofit organization in 1975.

After changing its name from IFRP to Family Health International in 1982, FHI has continued to work in various capacities extending beyond family planning, including research and technical assistance in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. In 1987, FHI was awarded USAID's first five-year HIV/AIDS prevention program in developing countries. In 2006, FHI works in more than 70 countries and manages more HIV/AIDS programs than any other organization in the world.


Now known as IntraHealth, this Chapel Hill–based organization has its roots at CPC as the African Health Training Institutions Project (AHTIP). AHTIP began in 1973 as "a five-year program to establish capability in provision of family health services among health professionals in African countries." Funded by USAID, AHTIP's goal was to strengthen teaching skills in African health training institutions. In 1979, AHTIP was reorganized under the direction of the UNC School of Medicine and was renamed the Program for International Training in Health (Intrah). This program took on a more active field-based role.

Intrah worked to train non-physician health care providers in Africa and the Near East and later implemented the PRIME I project in 1994, and the PRIME II project in 1999. These USAID-funded projects worked to improve reproductive health services and training, and had presence in 23 different countries.

In 2002, Intrah became an independent, nonprofit organization, known as IntraHealth. IntraHealth has broadened its portfolio to include USAID's Capacity Project, which is working globally to improve workforce policies and planning programs, and other projects in Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Armenia, Paraguay, Iraq, and more.


The concept of Ipas (formerly known as the International Pregnancy Advisory Service) is said to have sprung from the collective thought of Elton Kessel (UNC), Malcom Potts (International Planned Parenthood Federation), and Ray Ravenholt (USAID) around the same time that ideas for IFRP were taking shape. Ipas got its start in the early 1970s, with a mission to further technological advances in abortion procedures.

Prior to Ipas' creation, USAID supported the development of the technology for manual vacuum aspiration, used primarily for safe abortions and for incomplete abortions. However, in 1973, Senator Jesse Helms introduced the Helms Amendment, which made it illegal for the government to pay for abortion or to motivate anyone to undergo the abortion procedure both in the United States and overseas. In order to carry out the goals of Kessel, Potts, and Ravenholt and pass along new technology, Ipas was formed separately from the University and from the state and federal governments. Catherine Cameron, a former UNC student, was instrumental in obtaining private funding in 1973.

In the 1980s, Ipas expended its mission to include training, research advocacy, health care, and information dissemination. In 2006, Ipas continues to focus on the technology that makes abortions safe. With the belief that unsafe abortion represents a fundamental social injustice, Ipas advocates for women's sexual and reproductive rights and works to reduce unsafe abortions worldwide.

Population Services International (formerly Population Services, Inc.)

Two UNC students at the School of Public Health carried their work beyond the University's walls to begin Population Services International (PSI). Philip Harvey, a former CPC graduate research assistant, and Dr. Timothy Black began PSI in 1970 with the goal of improving health around the world for poor and at-risk populations in less developed countries. PSI's core values are stated as "bottom line health impact, private sector speed and efficiency, decentralization, innovation and entrepreneurship, and a long-term commitment to the people [they] serve," and reflect their goal to combine the strengths of the private sector with the ideals of a nonprofit.

In the beginning, the organization worked primarily in the family planning sector, using commercial marketing strategies to sell products at subsidized prices. Harvey and Black wanted to form an organization that could make condoms available to less developed countries. Due to its controversial nature and the threat of lawsuits for misusing the postal mail system, UNC and the Carolina Population Center cut organizational ties with Harvey and Black's project. PSI has since branched out and now works to promote health programs dealing with HIV/AIDS, safe water, malaria, and nutrition. In 2006, PSI's headquarters are in Washington and London, and its projects employ over 7,000 people in 60 countries.

Adam and Eve

After Philip Harvey and Timothy Black developed Population Services, Inc., an organization that used commercial marketing strategies to put affordable condoms on the shelves of drugstores in developing countries, Harvey determined that there was a market for mail-order condoms and other products in the adult entertainment business. As a result, he began a mail-order business to provide such materials.

Harvey found increasing demand for adult entertainment and sexually explicit materials as he experimented with various advertising approaches. He soon ran into legal trouble for shipping "obscene" items through the mail. Harvey eventually won these legal battles, and his business grew into a very successful adult entertainment company. Adam & Eve, also known as PHE (Philip Harvey Enterprises) operates in Hillsborough, North Carolina, a town 10 miles from Chapel Hill.

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