How Can Contracting Improve Family Planning Access?

Contraceptive Security

Sean Callahan

Abt Associates | Program Analyst

Jeanna Holtz

Abt Associates | Principal Associate
The 5 stages of a contracting lifecycle. Created by Prographics.

The 5 stages of a contracting lifecycle. Created by Prographics.

To advance toward universal health coverage, sponsors of health care programs are seeking ways to improve consumer access to quality, affordable health services, including those for family planning.

Governments, donors, insurance companies, private employers, and other purchasers have long contracted private (not-for-profit, for-profit, and faith-based) providers to deliver health care services. Through contracting, they can increase the number of service delivery points providing priority health services; encourage efficiency and quality in service delivery by instituting clinical and non-clinical standards; and reduce financial barriers for clients such as high out-of-pocket payments at the time of care.

USAID, other donors, governments, private employers, and others wishing to purchase services from private providers can benefit from understanding cross-cutting principles of contracting. Similarly, private providers seeking to serve more patients, including those from underserved groups, and increase their operating efficiency and revenue, can benefit from building skills in contracting.

To this end, the USAID-funded Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project has developed a course on the Global Health eLearning platform. Using a lifecycle framework, Contracting for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services introduces essential steps and concepts needed to evaluate, execute, and manage contracts for health services, with a focus on family planning. The course uses real and hypothetical case studies to illustrate ways to evaluate contracting opportunities, terms and conditions parties may wish to negotiate, and tips to facilitate successful contract implementation. Learners will be exposed to the needs and perspectives of key parties pursuing contracts, including the purchasers who pay for services (e.g., governments, insurance companies) and health care providers who deliver services.

Take the course today and get started on the contracting lifecycle for yourself!