Total Market Approach to Family Planning

  • Sean Callahan

    Abt Associates | Program Analyst
    Products from the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative, including Injectaplan, MoonBeads, and Protector, available for sale at the Nyeihanga Medical Clinic in Uganda.

    Products from the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative, including Injectaplan, MoonBeads, and Protector, available for sale at the Nyeihanga Medical Clinic in Uganda. © 2007 Jennifer Orkis, Courtesy of Photoshare

    In its strategy document for 2014-2020, USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health identified total market approach, or TMA, as a key focus area for their work. Advocates argue that a TMA can increase access, improve equity, and make health systems more sustainable. While we can all agree that these are laudable outcomes, many people have been left wondering just what a TMA is. The term itself is jargon and not very clear. For a long time, different people would mean different things when they used the term, adding to the confusion. In recent years, though, a general consensus has begun to emerge.

  • Elizabeth Futrell

    CCP | Content Development Lead
    With no dock in Usisya, Malawi, workers load lifesaving health commodities onto a small boat to transport them from the large boat to the mainland.

    With no dock in Usisya, Malawi, workers load lifesaving health commodities onto a small boat to transport them from the large boat to the mainland. © 2012 USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Imagine a health system in which low-income clients can access free contraceptive products and services, those with slightly more financial means can access partially subsidized products and services, and those with the most robust ability to pay can purchase products and services from the commercial sector. Countries implementing a total market approach to family planning strive to make this a reality by using all available public, nonprofit, and private commercial sector resources and infrastructure to improve sustainable access to family planning services for all clients.

  • 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.