In Bangladesh, where marriage tends to occur early, newlywed adolescents have become a priority group for reproductive health programs. Pathfinder, through its Rural Service Delivery Program, has developed a Newlywed Program to address the needs of young marrieds by supporting delayed first birth, smaller families, birth spacing, and prenatal care. The program identifies and registers newlywed couples that are visited by family planning field workers (depot holders) and attend orientation meetings for newlyweds.
In August 1999, a qualitative assessment using participatory research methods was undertaken to assess factors such as social norms, newlywed contraceptive decision-making and reproductive health concerns in an effort to provide the Newlywed Program with insight on how the program could be improved. Data were collected from two sites, Kalihati and Romgati, where different nongovernmental organizations are implementing the program.