Program Design

The below methodologies and tools support program design while developing a new, or expanding a current, FP program. The Key FP Program Design Resources box on page 18 lists recommended tools associated with each methodology.

  • Conducting a landscape analysis is key before starting new FP programs in order to map out who the various “players” are and what services are already available. “The situation analysis is a methodology invented by Population Council researchers to pinpoint problems in family planning service delivery.… Family planning professionals can use the methodology to assess the quality of care; evaluate the extent to which other reproductive health services are available to family planning program clients; estimate staff training needs; examine the availability of information, education, and communication materials; highlight equipment requirements; guide plans for facility renovation; quantify contraceptive supply levels; and provide data for policy formulation.” [1]
  • When projects are designing and monitoring sustainability of community-based family planning services, a useful assessment tool is The Family Planning Sustainability Checklist. The goal of the checklist is to provide a tool that enables family planning project designers, implementers, and evaluators to think through all of the elements that need to be in place to sustain community-based family planning services over the long term. The checklist can be used at multiple points during a project cycle—from the initial design phase through regular staff meetings, annual reviews, to midterm and final evaluations.
  • Programs may find it useful to conduct a barrier analysis, a rapid assessment tool for identifying behavioral determinants.
  • Programs may find it useful to consult recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) that present country-wide information on many reproductive issues, including family planning.

Health programs in general, and FP programs in particular, need to consider four program elements to ensure effectiveness:

  1. Increasing knowledge and demand,
  2. Improving access,
  3. Ensuring quality services, and
  4. Developing a supportive policy and social environment.

It is not essential that a single program address all these elements. However, if the situation analysis indicates that there are significant barriers to FP use in any of these areas, it is important for the program to consider how the barriers might best be addressed to ensure the success of the program. If the program itself does not have the resources to address the identified barriers, it might look for options to leverage other resources and/or to work with collaborators to address the gaps.

Key FP Program Design Resources:

[1] Population Council. Accessed on 6-11-13. Additional Population Council situation analysis resources can be accessed here: