Framework Developed to Help Institutionalize Evidence-Based Practices
On March 13, FHI 360 and USAID invited key partners to attend the first in a series of end-of-project technical meetings to be convened over the next year by PROGRESS, a five-year USAID cooperative agreement awarded to FHI 360 (2008–2013). About 60 people attended the meeting, held in Washington, DC, which focused on how PROGRESS works with ministries of health and other key stakeholders to accelerate institutionalization of evidence-based approaches. The meeting also provided an opportunity for USAID and key partners to share their thinking about institutionalizing evidence-based practices, the USAID High Impact Practices, and how USAID-supported family planning projects can work in a collaborative fashion. To view the slides presented at the meeting and other details, go here.
Agricultural Cooperatives Provide Opportunity for Family Planning in Rural Kenya
Research conducted by PROGRESS has demonstrated the feasibility of using non-health institutions to improve access to family planning services in rural Kenya. Seven field day health camps organized by FHI 360 with agricultural cooperatives supported by Land O'Lakes International Development offered a convenient and free channel for current contraceptive users to resupply their methods. Land O'Lakes and the Kenya Ministry of Health are exploring how to continue to offer such services. For more on the study and findings, go here (PDF, 343 KB). Land O'Lakes has also posted the research brief on its website.
Research Supports Self-Screening for Hormonal Contraceptives in Tanzania
PROGRESS-supported research has shown that women coming to accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) in Tanzania can self-screen for contraindications to combined oral contraceptives (COCs) about as well as nurses can. Using a self-screening poster based on WHO medical eligibility criteria for COC use, 29% of the 1,651 women in the study reported that they were not eligible to use the method. The 50 nurses in the study reported that 27% of the women were not eligible. The results support the case for regulatory bodies to allow women to self-screen not only for COCs but also for progestin-only injectable contraceptives, which have fewer contraindications according to WHO guidance. For more on the study and recommendations, go here (PDF, 436 KB).
New Video; Other Community-Based Family Planning Resources
PROGRESS has launched two new resources that use innovative advocacy tools for community-based family planning. A seven-minute advocacy film on community-based access to injectable contraceptives (CBA2I), which highlights the story of a Ugandan woman who has benefitted from this service, was featured at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning film festival and by USAID. View the video at FHI 360's You Tube site or the CBA2I Toolkit; DVD copies are available from [email protected]. Another new tool called the Invest-FP Calculator is designed to help policymakers make decisions about allocation of resources, with country-specific data used to model the financial and programmatic impact of community- and clinic-based family planning services.
Number 5 • April 2012
Mobile Technology Project Wins Global Award
In March, the global advocacy organization Women Deliver and its supporters, as part of International Women's Day, recognized the PROGRESS-supported Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) project as one of the "Women Deliver 50" of 2012. The m4RH approach uses text messaging to inform individuals about contraceptive options and to help them locate family planning clinics in their communities. The m4RH project was one of 10 winners recognized by Women Deliver in this year's "Technologies and Innovations" category. For more on m4RH, go here.
Strong Advocacy Work Rewarded in Uganda
With support from PROGRESS, Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) developed a population, health, and environment (PHE) advocacy strategy, which informed the development of a strategy for the Uganda PHE Working Group during a workshop supported by Population Reference Bureau. As a result of its PHE leadership, CTPH has been named a partner in Pathfinder International's five-year Lake Victoria Basin PHE Partnership, which is being funded by several major foundations and USAID.
Mentorship Program in Tanzania Leads to Grant Award
PROGRESS has recently provided guidance on grant writing to three junior researchers from Tanzania's Muhimbili Medical Research Centre of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), part of a formal mentorship program between PROGRESS and NIMR. The three researchers then applied for and won an $8,000 grant from the MEASURE Evaluation Population and Reproductive Health Project. They plan to use the grant to evaluate the effect of integrating family planning into HIV care and treatment centers in two regions of Tanzania. For more, go here.
Implant Study Informs Family Planning Counseling in Kenya
FHI 360/Kenya recently shared the findings of a PROGRESS-supported study to improve counseling on implants with 75 service providers during three regional trainings on the provision of long-acting contraceptive methods in the country. The training noted that implants are an acceptable option for young women ages 18-24 and that promoting access to implants in this group could help reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy at the population level. The training offered a reminder for providers to offer counseling on implants, in addition to counseling on other methods, to women of all ages.
New Family Planning e-Forum Launched in India
On April 10, FHI 360 launched the India Family Planning e-Forum (India e-FP), which aims to strengthen family planning policies and programs by engaging in dialogue and sharing evidence on pressing family planning topics in India. The first in a series of forums will run April 23–May 18, on the topic "Strengthening the Q in QoC for Family Planning." Resource experts from Population Services International and Jhpiego will participate. For more information on the India e-forum, go here.
Assessment of Family Planning and Immunization in India Leads to Action by Jharkhand State
Integration of family planning and immunization services is a key priority in the India National Rural Health Mission's guidelines. FHI 360/India through PROGRESS, working with Care India and the India Department of Health and Family Welfare in Jharkhand, assessed the quality of the integrated services at two primary health centers and 15 village health and nutrition days. For a summary of the findings, recommendations, and planned next steps by FHI 360 and the Jharkhand government, go here.
PROGRESS (Program Research for Strengthening Services) is a five-year project awarded to FHI 360 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in June 2008. The project seeks to improve access to family planning among underserved populations by providing global technical leadership and working in selected countries. PROGRESS currently works in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in India.