at the University of Delaware have been selected to work with
colleagues at the University of Maryland to evaluate the
Delaware-Contraceptive Access Now (DEL-CAN) intervention.
In February, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and the organization Upstream
USA announced the launch of DEL-CAN, financed with private funding of
The goal, Markell said, was to ensure that all women, regardless of
their insurance status or where they received their health care, have
same-day access to a full range of contraceptive methods at low or no
cost. The announcement of the initiative noted that Delaware’s rate of
unplanned pregnancies, 57 percent, is among the highest in the nation.
The evaluation of DEL-CAN will be conducted over five years by a
multi-institution research team, through a contract funded by a private
The mixed-methods project will evaluate DEL-CAN according to its aims
of: reducing unintended pregnancies; reducing Medicaid costs for
unintended pregnancies; and supporting policy development that enables
contraceptive access for all women who want it.
The evaluation will address both the intervention’s effectiveness and
the underlying mechanisms of change brought about by it. The goals of
the evaluation are to understand the extent of the initial and sustained
impacts in Delaware and the degree to which these impacts may be
generalizable to other states.
At UD, the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, the Center for Community Research and Service (CCRS) and the Center for Drug and Health Studies (CDHS) will contribute research expertise and data coordination with Delaware state agencies.
Faculty members at UD who are participating in the evaluation are Ann
Bell, assistant professor of sociology and lead investigator of the
evaluation at UD; Steven Peuquet, CCRS director and associate professor
of public policy and administration; and Steve Martin, CDHS senior
Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center
and professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, is the
principal investigator of the evaluation.
At the University of Maryland, College Park, the study will comprise
efforts from faculty in sociology, the Joint Program in Survey
Methodology, and Economics in the College of Behavioral and Social
Sciences, and faculty in Health Services Administration and Family
Science in the School of Public Health.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Hilltop Institute will
coordinate comparisons of Maryland and Delaware Medicaid-eligible women.