Envision a health system in which quality family planning information and services are accessible to everyone in their local communities. Community-based family planning (CBFP) lessens the burden of having to travel to health facilities while providing valuable and comprehensive care. In countries where CBFP is being implemented, contraceptive methods are being provided to women, men, and couples typically using a combination of three high-impact practices: provision by community health workers, mobile outreach, and drug shops.
If you're a regular visitor to K4Health.org, you'll notice we're in the process of revising the website. I like to think of knowledge products (including websites) as gardens: They need constant tending to adjust to changes in the environment and the needs of the people they serve. This set of changes is like making new paths and building new raised beds—it's more substantial than just planting something new or pruning back old growth.
A mother with her children in Ghana. (Courtesy of Karen Kasmauski/MCSP)
For millions of women worldwide, lack of economic independence can mean more than a life of poverty. Unable to access healthcare without a husband’s or father’s permission, it can be a matter of life or death.
Women in many of the countries where USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) works struggle to take control of their lives – both financially and physically. This includes their ability to choose when and if to have another pregnancy. Often there’s a relationship between these two facts, as well: as our staff found in Nigeria, male control over household assets and decision-making has a direct impact on contraceptive prevalence rate.
K4Health shares our favorite family planning resources!
It’s hard to believe this now, given all the information we have available at our fingertips, but when I was a college student in the mid-2000s, the Internet was barely used as a research tool. If I wanted to know which resources in my field of study were the best and most reputable, I asked a librarian, consulted an encyclopedia, or saved clippings of magazine articles by experts. It was a time-consuming process, but I loved it. Why? Because I knew that I could trust my sources.
At the recent Family Planning Summit for Safer, Healthier and Empowered Futures in London in July, representatives from country governments, donors, and civil society organizations reconvened, as many had five years earlier, to make bold commitments in support of reaching 120 million women with contraception by 2020. To achieve these commitments, governments and partners within a country must have a shared vision and must coordinate financing and implementation of aligned and complementary activities. Costed Implementation Plans (CIPs) are one way that countries have articulated and guided the who, what, when, and how much will it cost of achieving their FP2020 commitments. As we pause to reflect on the outcomes of our collective efforts over the past five years, I think it is equally important to reflect on the processes we have employed to achieve those outcomes, including how we implement CIPs.