• John Stanback, PhD

    FHI 360 | Senior Scientist, Health Services Division
    Sayana Press™ in Uniject™ device

    Sayana Press™ in Uniject™ device. Photo: Leonard Bufumbo/FHI 360

    This piece was originally published on Medium.

    Twenty-five years ago, The Lancet published a seminal article by Jim Shelton, Marcia Angle and Roy Jacobstein. “Medical Barriers to Access to Family Planning”1 had a huge influence, galvanizing global efforts to improve access to contraceptive services. That same year, 1992, Depo Provera (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate [DMPA]) was finally approved for contraceptive use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after decades of controversy.

  • Jerry Parks

    PATH | Program Associate

    When it comes to doing family planning work in low- and middle-income countries, where there is so much (and so many different types of) work to be done, where do you start? How do you decide where to focus your efforts, or how to make sure you aren’t repeating the same research or offering the same services as another group?

  • Dr. Babeth Katumbo

    PATH | National Family Planning Officer
    A woman from the DRC.

    The DRC needs a family planning program that works for all women. Photo: PATH/Georgina Goodwin

    In November 2016, PATH partnered with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Ministry of Health to hold a three-day workshop in Kinshasa that brought together the public, commercial, and private nonprofit sectors to advance a total market approach to family planning. A total market approach is a process that combines the strengths of all marketplace sectors to ensure that women get the supplies and services they need, through the right channels, and at the right price. In the DRC, aligning marketplace sectors can help to solve the inequities in our current system—where many poor women can’t access or afford family planning services. This lack of access contributes in part to the DRC’s high rates of maternal mortality and unmet need for contraception.

  • Rebecca Husband

    PSI | FP/RH Technical Advisor, SIFPO2
    How PSI Views the Total Market Approach

    How PSI Views the Total Market Approach

    There are now more than 300 million women and girls using modern contraception in the world’s 69 poorest countries, with more than 30 million of those users added since 2012. That’s the good news. The more challenging news is that despite this progress, health markets in low- and middle-income countries often operate inefficiently, failing millions of potential family planning (FP) consumers.

  • Julia Monaghan

    Pathfinder International | Technical Advisor for Capacity Building
    Younger women having their first or second child may not recognize access to health services as a right and as something that could improve their lives.

    Younger women having their first or second child may not recognize access to health services as a right and as something that could improve their lives. Photo: Pathfinder.

    Evidence-based interventions. High-impact practices. Using data for decision-making.

    As program implementers, we (rightly) spend a lot of time focusing on these concepts. But, sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to implement development strategies and interventions “correctly” that we lose sight of the perspectives of the people that our projects are intended to support—local partners, service clients, and community members. Evidence across sectors shows that the people best able to solve problems are often those closest to the situation itself. Thus, effectively removing barriers to sexual and reproductive health services use means taking a step back from our checklists and our data and actually talking to community members to understand what is getting in their way.

  • Lyndsey Mitchum

    CCP | Program Coordinator
    Programming Along the Life Course: Men and Boys as Family Planning Users

    A father in Santiniketan, India teases his son by placing flowers in his hair. © 2015 Pijush Chakraborty, Courtesy of Photoshare

    On March 1, 2017, USAID, K4Health, and the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG) hosted "Programming Along the Life Course: Men and Boys as Family Planning Users" to discuss the role of men and boys in family planning projects. If you missed the webinar, you can view the full recording and review a list of relevant resources discussed.

  • Brittany Goetsch

    CCP | Program Specialist
    Secondary student at a school fair in Humay, Peru

    Secondary student at a school fair in Humay, Peru © Brittany Goetsch, 2012

    "Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them." – Unknown

    I often find myself coming back to this quote, and I am especially reminded of it on International Women’s Day.

    How do we raise strong women? How do we support and nurture the transition from girl to woman? The answer is complex, but to me, part of it is ensuring that when it is appropriate, every girl is provided with the sexual and reproductive health services and information she needs, in a format that speaks to her.

  • Julia N. White

    Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition | Market Development Technical Officer
    Women in Cameroon receive membership cards for a mutual health organization intended to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

    Women in Cameroon receive membership cards for a mutual health organization intended to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs. © 2012 Okwen Patrick Mbah, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Markets are made up of human beings. They are not just emotionless spaces where products and services are bought and sold. This is especially true of the market for family planning products, which ideally provides “...women with a range of options, enabling them to choose for themselves how to best fulfill their individual reproductive intentions” (see Market Shaping for Family Planning, p4). And yet, when mired in theoretical discussions of total market approaches, market dynamics and supply chains, it is all too easy to forget these people within the market. But to ensure a healthy market where a woman can choose the contraceptive method that works best for her, we first must understand what she wants and needs (think human-centered design).

  • Marguerite Farrell

    USAID/Washington | Health Officer and Private Sector Team Leader, Office of Population and Reproductive Health

    Elaine P. Menotti, MPH

    USAID/Washington | Health Development Officer, Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Service Delivery Improvement Division

    Total market approach (TMA): A lens for assessing actors and interventions in all three sectors (public, private non-profit, and private for-profit) of the health system. Programs and policies promote and enhance contributions from all sectors and are client-focused.

  • Benjamin Akinmoyeje

    Management Sciences for Health, Nigeria | M&E and eHealth Advisor

    The Global Digital Health Forum 2016 was a perfect fit for me. It was a space where I met many practitioners working in the global health environment, more so than in previous meetings. The Forum provided a supportive professional environment to discuss similar challenges and opportunities between people and organizations working in the area of technology for health.