Professor John Cleland


Emeritus professor of medical demography

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

After graduating in Economics and Sociology at Cambridge University, I worked at the survey research centre at the London School of Economics. I was then appointed to a newly formed Population Bureau at the Overseas Development Administration (now the UK Depertment for International Development). From there I went to Fiji for three years with the mandate of evaluating that country's family planning programme. Fiji decided to become the  first country to participate in the World Fertility Survey, the predecessor of the Demographic and Health Survey and so, after completing the survey in Fiji, I returned to London and was on the staff of WFS from 1975 to 1985. I joined LSHTM in 1998, was appointed Professor of Medical Demography in 1992, retired in 2010 but remain active in research and teaching though free from administration and mangement responsibilities. I was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and received a CBE for services to social sciences in 2008.


Department of Population Health
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)


I teach on three study units: Population Studies in term 1 and Family Planning Programmes and Population, Poverty and Environment in term 2.


My research is focused on fertility, family planning and child survival, with a geographical concentration on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. My current activities include: mentoring a cohort of young Indian researchers who are studying varius aspects of reproductive health; involvement in a multi-site study on the causes of unintended pregnancy, led by the Population Council in Nairobi; and co-chairing an advisory panel in a project that awards fellowships to mid-career researchers in Africa and South Asia to study urban family planning and implications for urban development.

Recent publications include:

Cleland J, Benova L, Daniele M, Ali M. (2017) Promotion of intrauterine contraception in low- and middle-income countries: a narrative review. Contraception 95(6):519-528 

Cleland J and Machiyama K (2017) The challenges posed by demographic change in sub-Saharan Africa; a concise overview. Population and Development Review 43 (Suppl 1): 269-286

Benova L, Cleland J, Daniele M, Ali M. (2017) Expanding method choice in Africa with long-acting methods: IUDs, implants or both? International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43(4) 183-191 

Marston C, Renedo A, Nyaaba GN, Machiyama K, Cleland J. ( 2017) Improving the measurement of fertility regulation practices: Findings from qualitative research in Ghana. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43(3):111-119. 

Machiyama K, Huda FA, Ahmmed F, Odwe G, Obare F, Mumah J, Wamukoya M, Casterline J, Cleland J. (2018) Women’s attitudes and beliefs towards specific contraceptive methods in Bangladesh and Kenya.  Reproductive Health15:75. 

Ali M, Cleland J. (2018). Long term trends in behaviour to protect against adverse reproductive and sexual health outcomes among young single African women. Reproductive Health15:136.








Research Area
Adolescent health
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)