Introducing a Cutting-Edge Programming Tool: The Family Planning Sustainability Checklist
This post was written by Sharon Arscott-Mills, a Fellow in International Health at the Center for Design and Research in Sustainability in the International Health and Development Division at ICF International. Her post originally appeared on the Center for Design and Research in Sustainability (CEDARS) blog.
The Family Planning Sustainability Checklist is a tool that has evolved over several years and was field tested in multiple countries during the process. The goal of the Checklist is to provide a tool that enables family planning project designers, implementers and evaluators to think through all of the elements that need to be in place to sustain community-based family planning services over the long term. The Checklist can be used at multiple points during a project cycle—from the initial design phase through regular staff meetings, annual reviews, to midterm and final evaluations.
The Checklist does not provide a score but it does provide a method for consistently reviewing all essential program elements to ensure long term sustainability of services—and guides the user through action planning to address identified weaknesses. Although it is targeted toward NGO programs working with a national district management team, the “essential program elements” are common to most, if not all, community-based programs. The essential program elements are: 1) Reliable supply of contraceptive methods, 2) Training, 3) Maintaining a network of quality service providers, 4) Supervision, 5) Demand creation, 6) Reporting and integration of data.
The guide includes two versions of the Checklist which contain the same elements formatted in two ways to improve the usefulness of the tool. It also includes guidance for 1) a facilitated one-day workshop for use with project partners and 2) a two hour meeting for when shorter timeframes are available.
We would love to hear feedback from those who use the tool. Please comment on this blog or email us directly at email@example.com