Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Key Factors Contribute to Successful FP Programs

Family Planning Professionals Identify 10 Key Factors Contributing to Successful Programs (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Baltimore, MD—A well-trained, supervised, and motivated staff is one of the most important elements of success in family planning programming, according to the latest issue of Population Reports, "Elements of Success in Family Planning Programming" from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Obtaining an adequate budget is one of the most difficult elements for family planning programs to achieve. Although proper funding in and of itself will not guarantee program success, inadequate funding of programs will ensure their failure.

The report is based on a 2007 poll of nearly 500 health care professionals around the world who identified the top 10 elements most important to the success of family planning programs. The elements range from ensuring client-centered care to offering affordable services to implementing effective communication strategies. The Population Reports issue synthesizes online discussions about these elements and highlights program experiences, best practices, and evidence-based guidance derived from nearly six decades in international family planning.

“The impact of family planning programs over the past five decades is tremendous,” according to co-authors Catherine Richey and Ruwaida Salem. “But programs today are still facing challenges.” According to the report an estimated half of all pregnancies are unplanned or unintended. Preventing these unintended pregnancies has the potential to avert about one-third of maternal deaths and nearly 10% of childhood deaths.

Programs must also expand to serve growing numbers of clients. Between 2000 and 2015 the number of contraceptive users worldwide is expected to increase by over 40% due to both population growth and larger proportions using contraception. Coordinating efforts among the many diverse groups of stakeholders, including governments, donors, and service delivery and communication organizations, is key to ensuring that resources are sufficient, applied where most needed, and used efficiently, with minimal duplication of effort.

Family planning professionals can apply best practices and lessons learned to design, carry out, and scale up good-quality programs. The lessons identified in this report can help managers of these programs, donor agency staff, policy makers, and other family planning professionals to plan new programs, improve existing programs, and prepare for future developments and challenges.

The report’s companion Web site, www.fpsuccess.org, serves as home base for a virtual community of family planning professionals around the world. Members can find resources, tailor information to their specific areas of interest, engage in discussions, and network with colleagues. An electronic learning course on the topic is also available at www.globalhealthlearning.org.

For more information, contact Ruwaida Salem at rsalem@jhuccp.org

Find This Report and Related Resources Online:

The full-text version of this 28-page Population Reports issue is available at

For a listing of all Population Reports issues online, go to http://www.populationreports.org. Population Reports is published three times a year in English, French, and Spanish by the INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs. The INFO Project receives support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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