Advocating for Family Planning Policy
K4Health’s Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit provides advocates at all levels, including international, national, and community leaders, with the information and tools they need to make the case for improved access to voluntary family planning. The Toolkit contains a carefully selected collection of state-of-the-art resources for effective family planning advocacy, including sections dedicated to influencing policy, using evidence for more effective advocacy efforts, and measuring impact.
The Youth Policy Toolkit features policymaking resources, including case studies, expert interviews, key publications and tools, and helpful links. It also includes full-text policies addressing youth reproductive health (YRH) from countries across the world. The Toolkit is designed to benefit policymakers, donors, YRH advocates, program managers, and young people themselves.
The Community-Based Access to Injectable Contraceptives Toolkit is a platform for strengthening the capacity of agencies and organizations to plan, implement, evaluate, promote, and scale up community-based access to injectables (CBA2I) programs and to advocate for changes to national policy and service delivery guidelines. Many items, including the community health worker provision strategy and guidelines for educational tours, can be adapted or revised for use in specific country contexts and unique program circumstances.
Advocacy packages and guidance
PATH’s Markets Matter Advocacy Guide: How advocates can strengthen markets to improve access to essential health products (2017) makes understanding markets easy and provides the tools to advocate their value to policymakers and other key decision-makers successfully. The guide contains an overview of market actors and identifies policies and advocacy entry points for civil society. It also provides examples of how advocates have engaged in market issues to bring about change in a variety of areas.
PATH also offers the Advocacy Pack for Subcutaneous DMPA (2017), a comprehensive suite of evidence-based tools available via the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition that advocates can use to help increase access to a new type of injectable in their countries. The Advocacy Pack equips advocates with information, data, and tools to advance policy change and mobilize resources to support expanded access to this method, as part of a wide range of contraceptive options. The package is also available in French.
PACE’s Policy Communication Toolkit (2017), organized in convenient modules, bridges the gap that often lies between research and policy. It consolidates tools, materials, and approaches the Population Reference Bureau has developed and refined over 30 years of training researchers to communicate to policy audiences. Research often has profound implications for policy, but without effective communication between researchers and policy audiences, the significance of research findings may be lost. Through this toolkit, users can build skills to bridge this gap, with the goal of increasing the use of evidence in policy and decision-making.
Christian Connections for International Health has published Family Planning Advocacy through Religious Leaders: A Guide for Faith Communities (2017), available in English (PDF, 5.91MB) and French (PDF, 5.99MB). The resources assist the efforts of faith-based organizations to equip and encourage religious leaders to advocate for family planning with their governments, the media, and their own congregations and communities. The guide's workbook style offers a step-by-step process for training religious leaders and launching advocacy efforts through checklists and interactive prompts.
Take Stock's Advocacy Guide (Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, 2016; PDF, 3.34MB) will help inform advocates on the issue of contraceptive security, supply them with the tools to communicate to decision makers about reproductive health stockouts and why they matter, and encourage them to commit to ending stockouts once and for all. The guide is also available in French (PDF, 3.04MB) and Spanish (PDF, 3.04MB).
The Advance Family Planning Advocacy Portfolio (2015; PDF, 1.16MB) provides a collection of best practices and tools to refine a strategic vision, identify and motivate key players, take action, manage and overcome setbacks, and monitor and evaluate success. It can help both new and experienced advocates along the way to achieving their desired result: real, achievable, and sustainable change. Used separately, the tools can supplement an existing effort or inject new life into an initiative that has lost its vision or momentum. Used together, they provide a comprehensive roadmap to develop, implement, and evaluate a focused advocacy strategy from start to finish.
Visualize your influence networks
Net-Mapping, developed by Eva Schiffer, is an interview-based mapping tool that helps people understand, visualize, discuss, and improve situations in which many different actors influence outcomes. By creating Influence Network Maps, advocates can clarify their own view of a situation, foster discussion, and develop a strategic approach to their activities. Determining linkages, levels of influence, and goals allows users to be more strategic about how they act in these complex situations. Net-Mapping is low-tech and low-cost and is equally useful with varied audiences, from rural community members to international policy makers.