Please note: This archive was last updated in 2005.

RHO archives : Topics : Family Planning Program Issues


Updated December 9, 2004

Listed below are useful management tools, training guides, and other web resources on delivering family planning services in low-resource settings. For a listing of more general resources on family planning and reproductive health, go to the RH Resources section of RHO.

Please note that PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which can be downloaded for free at

If you know of a resource to be included in this list, please send the URL (web address) and a description to [email protected] .

Advance Africa
This consortium aims to increase the availability, quality, and use of family planning and reproductive health services in sub-Saharan Africa. It works to scale up existing efforts by closing gaps in service delivery and by building partnerships among public and private health and nonhealth organizations. Of special interest at this site is a Compendium of Best Practices in Family Planning/Reproductive Health Service Delivery ( This searchable database identifies, collects, and disseminates information on proven practices and program models that are likely to help managers strengthen and expand their program.

Center for Reproductive Rights
A nonprofit organization based in the United States, the Center for Reproductive Rights (formerly the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, or CRLP) is dedicated to promoting womens equality worldwide by guaranteeing reproductive rights as human rights. Together with its partners, the center plays an essential role in providing credible and reliable independent information regarding the legal status and real-life situations of women around the world. Of special interest at this site is a series of regional reports on Women of the World ( that survey governmental laws and policies regarding reproductive health, population, womens status, and adolescents reproductive rights in Anglophone Africa, East Central Europe, Francophone Africa, and Latin America. The site is available in English, French, and Spanish.

Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA)
Since 1975, this women-focused, nonprofit, international organization has empowered women at all levels of society to be full partners in development.  CEDPA works to ensure access to high-quality reproductive health and voluntary family planning services, to strengthen community organizations that support women, and to advocate at national and global levels to bring about lasting change for women. The organization conducts a wide variety of training programs, which are listed on the website, and publishes training manuals on subjects including advocacy, supervision, gender, and integrating STI/AIDS services into family planning programs. The training manuals, which are available in multiple languages, can be ordered online.

Commercial Market Strategies (CMS)
CMS seeks to meet the growing demand for family planning and reproductive health services by strengthening and expanding the private sector, including nongovernmental organizations, for-profit businesses, and private providers. To accomplish its goals, CMS encourages corporate social responsibility, alternative financing through health insurance plans, NGO sustainability, partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, appropriate policy changes, provider networks, and social marketing. Descriptions of these strategies and various country projects are available online. Of special interest are three studies examining the role of the private sector in addressing contraceptive security (

The DELIVER Project, which was implemented by John Snow Inc. (JSI), has developed a wide variety of guides and tools to assist managers in every aspect of logistics, including warehousing, distribution, logistics information technology, forecasting, and procurement. Two software tools are available for downloading: the PipeLine Monitoring and Procurement Planning System monitors product procurement plans by tracking shipments, inventory, and the rate of consumption; the Supply Chain Manager tracks the level and flow of commodities from central warehouses to service delivery points. Many manuals, guidelines, fact sheets, wall charts, and evaluation tools for logistics managers are available online, and others can be ordered. Some of these materials are available in French and Spanish. Visitors also can preview a computer-based learning module on logistics.

A nonprofit organization, EngenderHealth (formerly AVSC International) provides technical assistance and training, conducts research, and prepares technical reference and training materials in order to make reproductive health services around the world safe, available, and sustainable. Of special interest at its website are an online course on infection prevention in low-resource settings ( and a series of papers on quality improvement approaches and tools, including COPE, facilitative supervision, and whole-site training ( Information on counseling and informed choice is also available. The site is available in English, French, and Spanish.

Family Planning Management Development (FPMD) Project
The FPMD Project, which is implemented by Management Sciences for Health, works in four areas: (1) building management capacity at every level of health care organizations, whether public or private; (2) developing management skills of in-country individuals and management firms; (3) developing management applications and tools, including standardized instruments, procedures, and protocols; and (4) disseminating management information and tools worldwide through print publications and electronic resources published in Arabic, Bangla, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The Health Manager's Toolkit
Part of the Manager's Electronic Resource Center, the Health Manager's Toolkit is a collection of management tools especially designed for health and family planning programs. Developed by agencies around the world, these tools are relevant to clinical services, community health services, drug and supply management, financial management, health policy and reform, human resources, information management, organizational planning, organizational sustainability, and quality services. Descriptions of each tool are posted at this website; the tools themselves are available via email, hypertext links, or in PDF format. The site is available in French, Portuguese, and Spanish as well as English.

International Council on Management of Population Programmes (ICOMP)
ICOMP members are drawn from national population and family planning programs, NGOs, and management institutes in the developing world. By sharing experiences, ICOMP members hope to improve the management of population programs. ICOMP has helped sensitize top managers to professional management, trained middle-level managers, created a network of management related institutes in this field, promoted women's programs, and disseminated state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of population program management. Experience from many countries is available at this site.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
IPPF has launched a Quality of Care initiative to help affiliated family planning associations around the world achieve high standards of care. The initiative takes a self-assessment approach, with staff at each service delivery point collecting information on quality of care and forwarding it to headquarters, where managers consolidate the results into a single plan for quality improvement. With support from UNFPA, IPPF also has produced guidelines for integrating HIV services into reproductive health settings (

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR)
One of six regions that constitute the International Planned Parenthood Federation, IPPF is a not-for-profit organization that provides technical assistance and financial support to reproductive health organizations, helps facilitate information sharing among its affiliates, and advocates sexual and reproductive rights on a regional and international level. Its member organizations include 44 family planning associations in North and Latin America and the Caribbean. IPPF/WHR produces and distributes a wide variety of useful publications in Spanish and English (, including training guides, evaluation tools, and self-assessment modules that that can help organizations integrate STI/HIV/AIDS services (, improve the quality of care (, evaluate service delivery (, and achieve institutional sustainability (

IntraHealth International Inc.
Based at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, IntraHealth (formerly Intrah) works globally to enhance the quality of services in reproductive health, family planning, maternal and child health, and other related areas. The organization's special focus is on helping health care providers be as effective as possible within their local environments. To this end, IntraHealth works on training, performance improvement, strengthening working environments, building partnerships at the local and national levels, and increasing local capacity. IntraHealth manages the PRIME II project (, which uses training to improve the performance of reproductive health providers around the world, including nurse-midwives, clinic workers, physicians, and community-based health workers. Reports on training projects worldwide are available online (

A nonprofit organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, JHPIEGO (formerly JHPIEGO Corporation) works to improve the quality of reproductive health services in low-resource settings through advocacy, education, and performance improvement. It has developed a framework for integrated reproductive health training that coordinates pre-service and in-service training with service guidelines ( JHPIEGO has applied many innovative training approaches to reproductive health, including structured on-the-job training, performance improvement, computer-assisted learning, and competency-based training, all of which are well documented at this website. Learning packages, service delivery guidelines, strategy papers, and technical reports covering every aspect of reproductive health training are available online at this site. An affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, JHPIEGO also maintains the ReproLine health information site.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP)
Based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Center for Communication Programs conducts research, provides training, develops materials, and offers technical assistance in the field of health communication. CCP websites host several searchable databases on population and reproductive health. These include POPLINE for bibliographic citations (, Photoshare for photographs (, and the Media/Materials Clearinghouse for health communication materials ( available online are full-text issues of Population Reports (

The Manager's Electronic Resource Center (ERC)
The ERC, which is available in English, French, and Spanish, provides in-depth information on managing health policy and reform, community health services, clinical services, information, human resources, finances, drugs and supplies, organizational sustainability, and organizational planning. Each section includes basic concepts and guiding principles, practical tools, case studies, examples of good practices, event listings, links to useful Internet resources, and an idea exchange with other health managers from around the world. Also available is Managing for Quality (, an interactive online guide to problem solving, team building, and managing the process of quality improvement. The site also includes an International Drug Price Indicator Guide and the Health Manager's Toolkit.

Maximizing Access and Quality (MAQ) Initiative
Launched by USAID in 1994, the MAQ Initiative seeks to identify and implement practical, cost-effective, and evidence-based interventions aimed at improving access to and the quality of family planning and reproductive health services. The MAQ Initiative encourages experts to pool their knowledge and field experience in an effort to identify and promote state-of-the-art tools and concepts. Members of the MAQ Initiative are actively working on five areas: community-driven quality; client-provider interaction; management and supervision; policy, advocacy, communication, and education; and organization of work. Posted online is the MAQ Exchange curriculum (, a series of 25 modules on reproductive health programming that present new information, data, and lessons learned on improving access and quality. Other MAQ publications and tools are also available online.

MEASURE Evaluation
MEASURE Evaluation is one of five projects funded by USAID to offer technical assistance in data collection, analysis, monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination. MEASURE Evaluation collaborates with programs in developing countries and international donors to improve performance monitoring systems for tracking results; identify appropriate indicators, test their measurement, and establish needed data systems; and evaluate interventions and their cost-effectiveness. Its focus is family planning, maternal health, STIs and HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and infectious disease.

This site is an online news room for journalists who want the latest information about international family planning, population, reproductive health and the environment. PLANetWIRE provides reporters with facts, figures and information from organizations and government agencies examining international population and reproductive health trends and their implications, and other resources, to provide background on these issues. Reporters also can register for regular email bulletins on breaking news.

The Policy Project
The POLICY Project works with national and local government, NGOs, and commercial and research organizations to help develop and implement policies that promote and sustain access to high-quality family planning and reproductive health services. The project endeavors to strengthen political and popular support for family planning and reproductive health; improve planning and financing; ensure that accurate and up-to-date information informs policy decisions; and enhance in-country and regional capacity to provide policy training. In support of these efforts, it has produced and made available a series of computer modeling systems ( that project population growth and its socioeconomic impacts as well the costs, benefits, training and logistics needs, and other requirements for family planning and reproductive health programs. Also available at the site are multiple studies of post-Cairo reproductive health policies and programs in countries around the world ( and a series of Policy Issues in Planning and Finance on contraceptive security issues ( The Human Rights Matrix ( provides a directory of international human rights documents that are important to reproductive and maternal health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS.

As part of the National Library of the Environment, this website is designed to facilitate learning, information sharing, and communication about the connections between population, health, and the environment. It hosts country profiles on environmental and population topics, the Popline bibliography database, Population Reports, the PopEnvironment Linkages database, and PopEnvironment News analyses. The site is intended for use by policy makers, field staff, researchers, project managers, educators, and the interested public.

Population Action International (PAI)
This private, nonprofit policy advocacy group works to strengthen public awareness and political and financial support worldwide for population programs. PAI sponsors an integrated program of research, advocacy, and communications to make clear the linkages between population, reproductive health, the environment, and development. The PAI website offers full coverage of the Countdown 2015 Global Roundtable, an international meeting called to assess the first ten years of progress made toward meeting the goals set at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Also posted at this site are fact sheets on the importance of family planning (

The Population Council
The Population Council is an international, nongovernmental institution that carries out a wide range of reproductive health research and policy work to improve the quality of family planning services and integrate them with other reproductive health services. Information on their many initiatives is available at this site as are the council's working papers and periodicals, including Studies in Family Planning, Population and Development Review, and Quality/Calidad/Qualité. Of special interest is the FRONTIERS in Reproductive Health program (, a global operations research project that develops and test innovative solutions to service delivery problems and strengthens the problem-solving capabilities of local organizations. FRONTIERS has published New Perspectives on Quality of Care, a series of policy briefs that highlight important research findings on quality of care ( Portions of the site are available in Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
PRB’s primary mission is to provide timely and objective information on U.S. and international population trends and their implications. It publishes a quarterly Population Bulletin, annual World Population Data Sheet, and a host of other articles and reports on population and public policy issues; collaborates with organizations to develop and implement strategies for communicating with policy makers; conducts workshops to help journalists, educators, and researchers in developing countries find and use demographic data; and encourages journalists to expand coverage of population, health, and environmental subjects.

Population Services International (PSI)
This nonprofit organization sponsors social marketing projects in more than 60 countries, with the goal of delivering reproductive and other health products, services, and information to low-income and vulnerable people worldwide. PSI has expanded from its original focus on family planning to address HIV/AIDS and other maternal and child health issues. Accordingly, it now distributes a wide range of products, including oral rehydration salts and insecticide-treated mosquito nets as well as condoms and other contraceptives.

This partnership of technical assistance organizations aims to strengthen the performance of primary care providers in family planning and reproductive health, including nurse-midwives, clinic workers, physicians, and community based health workers. PRIME has developed the performance improvement (PI) approach to evaluate all the factors that affect provider performance. Solutions include training but also may involve management systems, infrastructure, and equipment and supplies. The website thoroughly documents the PI process and posts helpful training insights. Of special interest are tools for analyzing costs and results and assessing gender sensitivity that are part of PRIME’s Better Practices Series (

Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
An international, nonprofit organization, PATH's activities include strengthening organizational capabilities in the procurement and supply of health commodities, strengthening communication strategies and skills, and developing practical, affordable technologies for low-resource environments. Of special interest are a 22-country survey on improving the quality of contraceptive supplies and commodities and a tool to assess the capacity of programs to add services for reproductive tract infections. Both can be downloaded at

Quality Assurance Project (QAP)
Since 1990, QAP has been assisting developing countries to improve the quality and efficiency of health, population, and nutrition services by institutionalizing quality assurance. QAP publishes a variety of quality assurance tools and materials for health practitioners, including guides on problem solving, training, interpersonal communication between providers and clients, and licensing, accreditation, and certification. All can be downloaded in English, and some also are available online in French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Country reports and the results of operations research projects also are posted online.

ReproLine: Reproductive Health Online
In addition to specific information about contraceptive methods, ReproLine covers a variety of family planning program issues, including counseling, integrated reproductive health services, infection prevention, quality of care, and performance improvement through training and supervision. A product of the JHPIEGO Corporation, ReproLine also includes training tools, presentation graphics, and a variety of reference materials. Resources include materials on infection prevention (, papers on various approaches to training (, a wide array of field-tested training tools (, and the Pocket Guide for Family Planning Service Providers ( The site is available in English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

SEATS Quality of Care Initiative
Gathered here are several resources developed by the Family Planning and Service Expansion and Technical Support Project (SEATS) on the quality of care. They include a strategy paper calling for community members to serve along with providers on local quality teams, clinical protocols for family planning programs, and a document summarizing SEATS' experience in mainstreaming quality improvement in family planning and reproductive health services delivery in eight countries.

The Supply Initiative: Meeting the Need for Reproductive Health Supplies
The Supply Initiative has two goals: to call attention to the growing shortage of reproductive health supplies and to increase the availability and efficient use of human, institutional, and financial resources for these supplies. The initiative’s advocacy efforts aim to raise awareness of the crisis and build understanding among decision makers, the press, and other reproductive health stakeholders. This website also will host the RHInterchange tool and forum, which are designed to help major international procurers of reproductive health supplies exchange information, address critical issues, and coordinate efficient procurement. The Supply Initiative also sponsors RHInterchange (, a web-based information system that allows international donors and recipients of reproductive health supplies to exchange key information and coordinate their procurement activities. The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition ( is a forum for stakeholders engaged in the issue of reproductive health supply shortages to share organizational priorities and perspectives, identify and address key issues, and develop joint strategies and activities. Four organizations are collaborating on the Supply Initiative: the German Foundation for World Population (DSW), John Snow Incorporated (JSI), Population Action International (PAI), and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).

UNFPA: Securing Essential Supplies
UNFPA has assumed a leadership role in the effort to overcome contraceptive shortfalls and assure that people in developing countries have consistent access to high-quality and affordable reproductive health commodities. Recognizing that the goals and objectives of ICPD cannot be reached by any one sector or organization alone, UNFPA has developed an approach for achieving Reproductive Health Commodity Security that relies on coordinated partnerships. Posted here are a Global Call to Action and a strategy statement ( that spell out how governments, donors, United Nations system partners, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector can work cooperatively to overcome current problems in commodity supplies.

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