Elements of Success in Family Planning Programming

June 8, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

From Development Gateway. Download the full report at http://population.developmentgateway.org/index.php?id=10976&tx_dgcontent_pi1%5btt_news%5d=496296&cHash=96a6085238&MP=10976-8975

Elements of Success in Family Planning Programming
Prepared by Catherine Richey and Ruwaida Salem, this issue of Population Reports offers an overview of the core factors contributing to the success of family planning programs. Family planning professionals around the world helped to identify these 10 crucial program elements. The report highlights program experiences, best practices, and evidence-based guidance derived from nearly six decades of experience in international family planning.

The overarching strategy of family planning programs is to offer clients easy access to a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods through multiple service delivery channels in a good-quality, reliable fashion. What do program managers do to work toward success?

Key Points
Make services accessible. Offering services through a variety of delivery points makes methods available to more potential users.

Make services affordable. Partnerships between public- and private-sector services encourage clients to pay what they can while
public programs serve the poor for free or for low fees.

Offer client-centered care. Planning and providing services with the clients in mind help to make sure their needs are met and their
preferences are honored.

Rely on evidence-based technical guidance. Up-to-date service delivery guidelines, tools, and job aids can help translate research findings into better practice.

Communicate effectively. Communication grounded in behavior theory and sensitive to local norms motivates clients to seek services and helps them make good family planning choices.

Assure contraceptive security. A strong logistics system and a long-term plan for contraceptive security ensure that a variety of
methods, and the supplies and equipment to provide them, are always available.

Work for supportive policies. Showing how family planning contributes to development goals makes the case for continued support for family planning programs.

Coordinate. When governments, donor agencies, and implementing partners work together, they streamline efforts and avoid
duplication.

Build a high-performing staff. Programs can keep workers motivated and on the job by creating a good working environment, matching skills with tasks, and rewarding a job well done.

Secure adequate budget, use it well. Spending wisely, doing more with less, and finding ways to recover costs can help ensure financial sustainability.

Base decisions on evidence. Research, monitoring, and evaluation yield important information to guide decision-making, and they
need not be expensive.

Lead strongly, manage well. Strong leadership helps programs navigate change. Good management solves operational problems.

Integrate services appropriately. Programs can address a wider range of health needs by integrating services where appropriate and offering referrals where it is not.


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