Senior Program Officer
Sigma Ainul is a senior program officer at the Population Council. She conducts research, implements and manages programs, and supports fundraising at the Population Council. Her work focuses on adolescents and youth; sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); prevention of child marriage and gender-based violence (GBV); creation of education and livelihood opportunities for girls; and financial literacy and access to finance for girls and women. Ainul has experience working in diverse settings, including rural, urban, and climate-vulnerable areas and Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. She has managed projects with various donors and development partners such as UNICEF, USAID, DFID, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Ainul provided technical assistance to the Directorate General of Family Planning of Bangladesh in the development of several of adolescent sexual and reproductive health–related policy documents, manuals, and guidelines. She serves as technical committee member of the National Strategy for Adolescent Health for Bangladesh, National Plan of Action for Adolescent Health Strategy 2017–2030 for Bangladesh. She also serves as an editorial committee member of the National Adolescent Health Newsletter. Ainul is a member of several other collaborative networks that work in SRHR, child marriage, and GBV, including NEARS, Girls Not Brides, Share-net, Gender Working Group, and more.
Ainul has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles, research papers, policy reports and briefs, and book chapters, and she has published her research in journals including Conflict and Peace, Asia-Pacific Population Journal, and more. She has authored research pieces on the effect of COVID-19 on women’s maternal health and family planning, as well as on adolescent girls’ education and alternative modalities of learning and of supporting girls and women in the time of COVID-19. She has presented her research at scientific fora and international conferences around the world.
Ainul received her Master of Population Sciences from the University of Dhaka and is a native of Bangladesh.