Programmatic Framework for the Standard Days Method

Standard Days Method® (SDM) Programmatic Framework

The successful integration of the Standard Days Method® (SDM) requires preparation and follow-through. Decisions need to be made about where the SDM should be offered and by whom. Support among key “influentials” and program decision-makers must be developed and a supportive policy environment established. Support materials and training for service personnel are required as well as communication strategies for inform the community about the availability of the method. In addition, CycleBeads must be available, and providers need to be supported in offering the method. All of these steps are a critical part of the integration process, though their sequence may vary from site to site. The following are key actions that will help personnel establish SDM as an integral part of the family planning program.

Norms and Policy

Key Questions

Key Actions

Has the SDM already been incorporated into the country’s official family planning norms? Alternatively, does a written directive exist?

Do the norms include natural methods as a general category?

How often does the program update family planning norms?

Are there any public sector organizations that have already started to offer the SDM?

What type of collaboration should be considered for better communication with public sector officials?

Investigate what natural methods are included in the country’s official family planning norms.

Identify who are the key stakeholders to work with for incorporating SDM into the official norms.

Be familiar with international service delivery guidelines for the SDM.

Ensure that SDM guidelines are incorporated into the organization’s policies and procedures.

Recognize that some providers will have biases and address these biases.


Key Questions

Key Actions

Does the organization have a mechanism to provide continued training of providers or contraceptive technology updates for its personnel?

Are there other local training organizations or training resources that could support training activities for the SDM?

Do healthcare providers have access to continuing education programs or re-certification programs that might be appropriate for including information on the SDM?

Develop a training plan that determines training activities for primary and secondary providers of the SDM, as well as sensitization for other staff.

Ensure that the training exercises incorporate use of the SDM job aids and tools.

Ensure mechanisms are in place for monitoring the effectiveness of training activities and improving providers’ knowledge and skills in the SDM as needed.

Use of the Knowledge Implementation Tool [KIT] during supervision visits to support activities).


Key Questions

Key Actions

Which providers are responsible for family planning counseling?

Does the organization have and follow service protocols for providing family planning?

How are service protocols made known to service providers?

Have service providers been trained in counseling, family planning, informed choice, interpersonal communications, sexuality, gender?

What support materials exist for service providers?

Is there a supervision mechanism to support and monitor service provision?

Determine which providers will be directly responsible for SDM counseling and how other providers/staff will support the process.

Determine how and where to include SDM information in counseling materials for providers.

Ensure that job aids and other SDM teaching tools are accessible to SDM providers.

Ensure that providers understand the importance of screening and monitoring of cycle length for SDM users.

Ensure that counseling also includes strategies on how to avoid unprotected intercourse.

Ensure mechanisms for periodically monitoring provider competency.


Key Questions

Key Actions

Does the facility take advantage of the client’s waiting period to provide information?

Are informational materials easily accessible to clients?

Does the organization have community outreach and education activities?

What steps are needed to make SDM information available through IEC and community outreach?

Develop a plan for internal and external IEC activities.

Select and adapt materials to be used in SDM informational and educational activities.

Integrate information on the SDM into existing client and provider materials.

Translate and adapt training materials and job aids, client materials as required (for local context).

Conduct sensitization activities to address provider concerns about natural methods.

Assuring Quality

Key Questions

Key Actions

Does the organization have monitoring systems in place to monitor provider performance?

Does the organization have a mechanism in place to solicit client feedback on services?

Does the organization have an appropriate management information system in place to collect information on SDM services?

Determine what supervisory mechanisms must be established for service delivery.

Determine what mechanisms will be established to ensure appropriate client follow-up.

Ensure that the MIS system has the capability to track the SDM users and monitor services.

Determine who will monitor the impact of SDM services in the short- and long-term.

  Logistics & Procurement

Key Questions

Key Actions

Does the organization currently have a centrally managed logistics and distribution system for distributing medical supplies and information materials to its service sites?

Will the organization be able to procure CycleBeads based on estimated demand for the method?

What additional steps will need to be addressed to ensure smooth procurement and distribution of CycleBeads?

Will clients be charged for SDM? How much?

Develop a timeline for procurement and international shipping of CycleBeads.

Asses how CycleBeads will be included in existing logistics systems.

Investigate local importation and any registration requirements applicable to CycleBeads.

Determine whether CycleBeads will be sold to end users, and if so, establish a price to the consumer.