Changemakers in Family Planning: Ruvani Jayaweera
Awarded 2022
Changemakers in Family Planning
Ruvani Jayaweera, PhD, MPH
Ibis Reproductive Health

Ruvani Jayaweera has focused her career as an epidemiologist on documenting and evaluating interventions aimed at increasing access to information and support on self-managed abortion. During her time as a researcher at Ibis Reproductive Health, she has prioritized a research model that centers the needs of individuals and communities who stand to benefit most from the research process. In her work, this has meant developing research questions, designing studies, and analyzing data in close partnership with accompaniment groups, safe abortion hotlines, and advocacy organizations. Dr. Jayaweera’s methodologic expertise lies in study design and implementation, respondent-driven sampling, and quantitative bias analysis. Given the breadth of her research on self-managed abortion in settings outside the United States, she hopes to build on her current body of work to explore how lessons learned from the model of feminist abortion accompaniment can be incorporated into efforts to improve access for self-managed abortion information and support in the United States, particularly by: exploring community engaged strategies to ensure research priorities are guided by the needs of those most impacted; identifying what interventions are most helpful in ensuring people have access to high quality, empathetic, and inclusive self-managed abortion care; and highlighting the role of providers in supporting people who are self-managing abortions.