Kirsten Stoebenau

Gender and Population Specialist

As Gender and Population specialist, Kirsten Stoebenau directs and contributes to projects in the Gender, Population and Development portfolio. She has 13 years experience as a social science researcher, with special expertise on the social and structural determinants of women’s sexual and reproductive health.  

Kirsten’s background in public health, demography, sociology and anthropology equip her with the skills needed to conduct rigorous research on the interrelationships between gender, health, population and development.  She has a wide range of research competencies spanning survey research, ethnography, observational studies, and program evaluation, with particular expertise in qualitative methods and approaches.  Kirsten also is skilled in capacity building on data collection and analysis.

Kirsten is passionate about taking a multi-disciplinary and multi-level approach to understanding and improving women’s health and wellbeing.  Kirsten is currently directing a project examining the linkages between gender norms, economic status, education and girls’ reproductive health outcomes in Uganda to improve understanding of the linkages between pregnancy and school drop-out for girls.   She is also part of an international consortium investigating the structural drivers of HIV infection.  In that capacity, she co-leads a working group examining the role of transactional sex as a driver of HIV infection among young women in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Kirsten has experience working with foundations (Hewlett, MacArthur, Packard), bilateral agencies (DFID, USAID, Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR)], academic and research institutions (HEARD) and the private sector.

Prior to joining ICRW in 2010, Kirsten was a CIHR post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa Institute for Population Health where she conducted a mixed-method study of the social and structural determinants of risky sexual behavioral practices among youth in Madagascar.  

Kirsten can be reached at


HIV and AIDS, Population and Reproductive Health, Stigma and Discrimination, Emerging Issues

Languages Spoken: 

Kirsten is proficient in French and Malagasy and is a native English speaker. 


Kirsten holds a Ph.D. in Population and Family Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor degree in Anthropology from Emory University. 

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