Interviews with Family Planning Experts

The following series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts provide insights into successful family planning programming, including how specific projects and programs adopted and adapted best practices to their particular environments. They are organized by the 10 elements of family planning success, identified by health care professionals around the world as essential components needed for the success of family planning programs:

Supportive Policies

Included in this section of the Toolkit are interviews with family planning experts discussing the importance of supportive government policies to the success of family planning programs. Specifically, interviewees talk about establishing partnerships with government; understanding religious factors associated with family planning; reasons why government should support family planning; and challenges to government involvement in family planning programs.

For example, Bright Ekweremadu, Managing Director of Society for Family Health in Nigeria, emphasizes the critical role of a supportive government in helping family planning providers accomplish their work by creating an enabling environment. Dr. Jeff Spieler, Senior Science Advisor at USAID, discusses in detail why political leaders should support family planning, quoting "family planning is the solution to many problems..." by enabling couples to have the number of children they want or space pregnancies, reducing child mortality, reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, and increasing opportunities for women. Dr. Punima Mane, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, talks about the importance of data in advocacy, planning and policy around family planning programs and services.

Evidence-Based Programming

Included in this section of the Toolkit are a series of video interviews with family planning experts discussing the importance of monitoring and evaluation and research in family planning programming. 

Dr. Jane Bertrand, Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, talks about monitoring and evaluation as an important component to successful family planning programs and describes some of her own experiences in monitoring and evaluating family planning programs. 

Dr. Sian Curtis, Director of USAID’s MEASURE Evaluation Program, talks about the purpose and importance of monitoring and evaluation and discusses some of the barriers that are faced in program implementation, such as resources, time and staffing, and the importance of planning ahead when implementing a monitoring and evaluation system.

Leadership & Management

The following series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts discuss issues related to leadership and management of family planning programs. The experts  address the importance of strong and influential leadership; leadership development; and community involvement. For example, Margaret Neuse, Emeritus Director of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, talks about the importance of training local staff for leadership roles. Bright Ekweremadu, Managing Director of Society for Family Health, and Mike Egboh, a Country Representative for Pathfinder International, both of Nigeria, talk about the importance of community involvement, including community acceptance and input, recognizing the community and religious leaders and cooperating with the community leaders.

Effective Communication

Experts talk about the importance of communication programs in successful family planning programs and the importance of behavior change theories in family planning decision-making. Additionally, specific program experiences in communication strategies and campaigns are described.

Ruwaida Salem, Senior Technical Writer at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, provides a history of family planning communication, reviews communication strategies and methods, and talks about the importance of understanding behavior change theories and the local context for family planning programs to best assist and support family planning decision-making. Ed Scholl, Director of Public Health Programs at FHI, talks about the media’s role in behavior change and points to ways the media can help and hinder family planning.

Contraceptive Security

Included in this section of the Toolkit are a series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts discussing issues related to contraceptive security.  

Dr. Alan Bornbusch of USAID talks about supply chains and "choke points," and also gives examples of national contraceptive success stories in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Dr. Robert Hatcher of Emory University talks about contraceptive method mix and having a broad range of services.

Trained Staff

This section of the Toolkit includes audio and video interviews with family planning experts discussing aspects related to training family planning staff.

Dr. Irina Yacobson, Assistant Medical Director for FHI, talks about training and motivating staff, and the importance of listening to client's needs and informed choice. 

Dr. Ricky Lu, Director of Reproductive Health and Family Planning at JHPIEGO, talks about the importance of comprehensive training and the different ways program managers can provide training to family planning service providers.

Client-Centered Care

Included in this section of the Toolkit are a series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts discussing client-centered care.  See interviews with Bright Ekweremadu, Managing Director of Society for Family Health in Nigeria, and Dr. Townsend, Vice President and Director of the Population Council's Reproductive Health Program, on the importance of listening to clients and shaping programs around their needs.  Many of the interviews discuss family planning for adolescents.  Dr. Robert Blum, Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, explains the importance of adolescent reproductive health care and talks about the challenges of peer education programs to prevent adolescent pregnancy. Dr. Winifride Mwebesa, Advisor at Save the Children, discusses family planning services for young girls and emphasizes the importance of sensitivity and appropriateness of family planning services tailored for young girls.

Easy Access

The following series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts discussing how to promote easy access to family planning services. Dr. John Stanback and Ed Scholl of FHI and Dr. Winifride Mwebesa of Save the Children discuss the importance of a variety of service delivery points to increase access to family planning services.  Margaret Neuse, Emeritus Director of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, talks about the importance of private sector collaboration as a means to providing greater access to services and commodities.

Affordable Services

In this section of the Toolkit you will find audio interviews with Dr. Robert Hatcher, Professor at Emory University School of Medicine, and Dr. John Stanback, Deputy Director of the PROGRESS project at FHI, discussing the provision of family planning services for the poor.

Integrated Services

Included in this section of the Toolkit are a series of audio and video interviews with family planning experts speaking to the importance of integrating family planning with other reproductive and child health services. Interviewees highlight both the benefits and challenges to integrating services, as well as the importance of offering organized and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services due to the difficulties patients encounter when seeking out services.

For example, Dr. Heidi Reynolds, a Senior Research Associate for FHI, talks about the integration of family planning services with HIV services. Dr. Duff Gillespie of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health also addresses integration wtih HIV/AIDS services and discusses the difficulties of achieving appropriate HIV/AIDS integrated service programs, such as voluntary testing with family planning, due to lack of evidence and documentation. Dr. Habib Sadauki, Senior Reproductive Health and Family Planning Advisor at Pathfinder International, provides examples of opportune times to integrate health and education services and the multiple benefits that come with program integration within the community setting.