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PROGRESS: Research on community-based family planning

  • India
  • Malawi
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

PROGRESS conducted research on community-based access to injectable contraceptives, factors affecting the provision of services by community health workers, and innovative approaches for delivering community-based family planning. Results of this research are helping inform the introduction, sustainability and scale-up of community-based family planning services in a variety of settings. Selected studies are described below:

  • Acceptability of depo-subQ in Uniject: Working with the ministries of health, PATH and additional partners, PROGRESS conducted research on the acceptability of subcutaneous delivery of injectable contraceptives with the Uniject™ device in Senegal and Uganda. The new subcutaneous product, called Sayana® Press, has the potential to affect community-based access to injectable contraceptives but will also be used in clinics. The product had originally been known as depot-subQ provera 104™ in Uniject.
  • PROGRESS-supported pilot studies in Malawi, Senegal and Zambia have demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of community-based access to injectable contraceptives. This research brief [PDF, 282 KB] and full report [PDF, 1.1 MB] describe the study in Malawi, which assessed the provision of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) by health surveillance assistants. This brief [PDF, 223 KB] and full report [PDF, 540 KB] describe the study in Zambia, which was conducted in collaboration with ChildFund to evaluate the provision of DMPA by community-based distribution agents. Details on the Senegal study are available in this research brief [PDF, 1 MB].
  • In collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Health, PROGRESS assessed the potential of increasing the number of family planning services that community health workers in selected districts of Rwanda provide. Results showed that adding re-supply of oral contraceptive pills and DMPA to standard condom, counseling and referral services did not affect the workers' perceptions of workload. These results, explained further in a research brief [PDF, 599 KB], support the Ministry of Health’s decision to scale up the provision of enhanced family planning services by community health workers throughout the country.
  • Two PROGRESS-supported studies in India have evaluated innovative approaches for delivering community-based family planning. In one approach, described on this web page, outreach workers from a local microfinance organization delivered basic family planning information to groups receiving their microfinance services. In the other, described in this brief [PDF, 555 KB] and full report [PDF, 1.5 MB], community health workers delivered contraceptives to doorsteps in an effort to address issues related to the supply chain.
  • PROGRESS conducted a study to understand the factors associated with retention and performance of volunteer community health workers in three programs spanning seven districts in Uganda. Community health workers identified transport as a discouraging factor and the main challenge for performing their responsibilities. Details on the study are available in this research brief [PDF, 573 KB].

PROGRESS (Program Research for Strengthening Services) was a five-year project awarded to FHI 360 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in June 2008. The project sought to improve access to family planning among underserved populations by providing global technical leadership and working in selected countries.

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