INFO project- Contraceptive Security: What you can do

Publication date: 2004

Contraceptive Security: What You Can Do Many countries face the challenge of meeting people’s needs for contraceptives, including condoms, on a sustainable basis. Programmatic experience in several countries has pointed to some “ready lessons” that can be applied to improve contraceptive security. What Is Contraceptive Security? Contraceptive security exists when people are able to choose, obtain, and use high-quality contraceptives, including condoms, when they want them for family planning and HIV/STI prevention.1 Elements of Contraceptive Security First, consider these important elements of contraceptive security: • Clients. Programs that increase contraceptive security serve the entire market of current and potential users – from those who require free supplies to those who can and will pay for commercial products. • Commodities. Contraceptive security means that users can make informed choices from a full range of methods and services of high quality and at affordable prices. Ensuring access to short-term, long-term, permanent, and natural methods is part of contraceptive security. • Long-Term Assurance. Contraceptive security means that the methods and services people want are available when they need them. This requires leadership and long- term commitment from all stakeholders – governments, the private sector, and donors. Even households must contribute by helping pay for their methods when they can. Lessons Learned Here are some practical steps USAID Missions and their partners can take to promote and support country-led programs for contraceptive security. Build all stakeholders’ commitment to contraceptive security by raising awareness and building support. 3 Conduct an analysis to identify contraceptive security stakeholders. 3 Bring stakeholders together to raise awareness and launch planning and implementation. 3 Establish and support a coordinating committee. 1 Condoms are singled out for their dual role in family planning and preventing HIV/STI. Henceforth, “contraceptives” is used as inclusive of condoms. Tech Brief Principal Preparers: Alan Bornbusch, USAID Tanvi Pandit, USAID Assess challenges and opportunities by making a joint diagnosis of the problems and strengths that exist in the system. 3 Generate support for a contraceptive security assessment. 3 Help stakeholders plan and implement the assessment using the SPARHCS (Strategic Pathway to Reproductive Health Commodity Security) approach. 3 Disseminate the results and promote their use for collaborative planning. 3 Support a regular cycle of assessments for monitoring and evaluation. Develop and implement a whole market approach that leverages the assets of the public and private sectors to meet the needs of different clients. 3 Conduct market segmentation analyses and willingness/ability-to-pay studies. 3 Use the results for collaborative planning and ongoing dialogue between sectors. 3 Support targeting public-sector subsidies. 3 Develop private-sector strategies tailored to different partners. 3 Keep abreast of trends in market segments and demand. Maintain commitment through ongoing advocacy for contraceptive security. 3 Identify and support policy “champions” in the public and private sectors. 3 Provide training and other skills-building for advocacy and news media reporting on contraceptive security. 3 Establish mechanisms for disseminating contraceptive security information. 3 Encourage participation by the media and advocacy groups in contraceptive security planning and implementation. Foster information-based decision making at program, country, and global levels. 3 Help stakeholders to identify contraceptive security data and information needs. 3 Conduct research, surveys, and analyses to meet these needs. 3 Test new analytical tools to translate data into useful information. 3 Ensure contraceptive logistics is supported by a strong Logistics Management Information System. 3 Monitor and evaluate contraceptive security interventions to identify best practices. 3 Ensure that key decision makers receive pertinent contraceptive security information. Where to get more information: This brief is based on Contraceptive Security: Ready Lessons, a set of six booklets with practical “how to” informa- tion and examples to help countries and their development partners plan and implement activities for contraceptive security. The SPARHCS approach mentioned is explained in the booklets. Ready Lessons can be found at www.dec.org. Search on “contraceptive security.” The USAID Contraceptive Security Team provides technical assistance to USAID Missions and their partners in research and analysis, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation of field activities. The team may be contacted through Alan Bornbusch, Contraceptive Security Team Leader, or Mark Rilling, Division Chief, Commodities Security and Logistics Division, Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Bureau for Global Health, USAID: abornbusch@usaid.gov or mrilling@usaid.gov. Last Revised: 05/25/04 Produced in association with The Maximizing Access and Quality Initiative Designed and produced by: The INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs header: USAID:

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