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Beyond Bias: Provider Survey & Segmentation Findings

Pathfinder International is working with Camber Collective, YLabs, and Behavioral Economics in Reproductive Health (BERI) to implement the 3-year project (November 2016 – October 2019) to better understand and address provider bias. To begin, a literature review was conducted to understand the current state of knowledge regarding provider bias and develop a set of initial hypotheses to be validated through expert interviews.

Major insights of the quantitative survey results highlight a wide array of factors that influence how providers serve clients unsurprisingly demonstrate that bias exists among providers. Given the broad range of provider behavior, we conducted a segmentation analysis to understand the different sub-groups of providers that exist and the potential levers best suited to encourage positive behavior change. This approach looks beyond demographic factors, focusing preferentially on attitudinal and behavioral characteristics.

The segmentation analysis identified six key provider segments:

  • Detached Professionals: Well-trained and generally unbiased, though emotionally disconnected with youth
  • Average Passives: Aware of adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health practices, but somewhat biased and relatively unsympathetic for youth
  • Content Conservatives: Generally open-minded and youth-friendly, but distrustful of modern methods and independent women
  • Impromptu Sisters: Most connected with young clients, though also prone to believe they know what’s best
  • Sympathetic Guardians: Well-intentioned, and though somewhat misinformed, exhibit overall high-quality youth service
  • Paternalistic Clinicians: Busy older doctors who, despite some progressive attitudes, show strong marital and parity bias


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