What is a Total Market Approach for Family Planning?

Sean Callahan

Abt Associates | Program Analyst
A private provider counsels a client on family planning options. © 2014 SHOPS Project

A private provider counsels a client on family planning options. © 2014 SHOPS Project

When USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) released its Priorities for 2014-2020, it highlighted five focus areas that the office would emphasize in its programs to help reach family planning goals for 2020 and 2030. Included among these focus areas was the concept of the total market approach. As defined by PRH, “a total market approach is implemented when the comparative advantages and complementary roles of all sectors of the FP/RH market are considered and supported in order to foster long-term, sustainable delivery of FP/RH information, products and services to all market segments or population groups who want to use them.” In other words, a total market approach takes into account free, subsidized, and private commercial delivery methods to ensure that anyone who wants to use a particular health product or service can do so.

Over the past several years, USAID and UNFPA have taken the lead in thinking about how to turn the TMA framework into practice. For the most part, as described in the Total Market Approach eLearning course, this effort has focused on commodities. PRH in particular has used TMA principles as it supported contraceptive security committees to help prepare countries in Latin America for graduation from donor-supported family planning programs. To date, though, most global learning on TMAs has been limited to ensuring a sustainable, consistent supply of products. Applying the concept to services is more complicated, as there is an added clinical component that needs to be taken into account.

To support PRH’s focus on TMAs, the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project, USAID’s flagship initiative on private sector health led by Abt Associates, developed a companion to the original TMA eLearning course. A Total Market Approach to Family Planning Services on the USAID Global Health eLearning Center uses real and hypothetical case studies to demonstrate to learners how TMA principles can address geographic, financial, and other barriers to create a healthy market for all users to access the full range of family planning services.

The course will guide USAID Missions and others seeking to assist governments on how to use the total market approach concept to maximize resource use, increase access to priority health goods, and improve sustainability.

For more information, take a look at the course.