Contraception & Family Planning

In her home, a young Indian woman learns about various contraceptive methods from an Accredited Social Health Activist or “ASHA.”

Each home visit is an opportunity to respond to multiple health needs; in Ethiopia, a health extension worker counsels her clients in 16 areas, including family planning, maternal and child health, HIV prevention, sanitation, and nutrition.

Pathfinder works with public health teams to identify and address gaps in services—including stock outs of contraceptives—for women who rely on them.

Pathfinder advocates consistently and effectively with government leaders, medical health professionals, and influential local stakeholders to develop policies and funding that support contraceptive programs. (KENYA)

In 2011, through Pathfinder-supported programs, women and men made more than 5 million visits to health facilities for contraceptive services.

For more than 55 years, improving access to contraception and family planning has been core to Pathfinder's mission. Pathfinder has worked in more than 100 countries and implemented large scale service delivery programs focused on contraception across sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Our goal is to advance opportunities for women, men, and adolescents to make choices about their sexual and reproductive health through access to contraceptive services and information.

Contraceptive services and knowledge offers individuals the ability to make key decisions about their sexual and reproductive health so they can take control of their lives. Empowered to make decisions about if, when, and how often to have children, women and girls can stay in school, develop income-earning skills, determine the size and timing of their families, and play an active role in ensuring their family's welfare. For men, contraceptive services and information enable supportive partnerships and ensure couples can make decisions together about their health and futures. Support for both women and men to access contraception and family planning is key to fostering gender equity and benefitting the health and strength of communities everywhere.

By addressing a vast unmet need –  more than 222 million women currently want, but lack access to family planning – Pathfinder helps individuals prevent unintended pregnancy, space births for optimal health and well-being, and reduce the risk of illness and infection.

Key approaches for all of our contraceptive and family planning work include:

  • Expanding access to quality information and services with a focus on bringing services closer to the client and at the same time improving the quality of care at facilities.
  • Improving the integration of services so that each visit is an opportunity to respond to multiple health and contraceptive needs.
  • Addressing cultural, social, economic, and logistical obstacles to contraceptive availability by focusing on the intersection of community and health systems.
  • Advocating at international, national, regional, and local levels to ensure availability and funding for contraception and family planning.

Currently, Pathfinder has a range of contraception and family planning projects around the world.

Related Projects

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.

Accountability in the Reproductive Health Sector

Using Community Scorecards, this project empowered citizens in Tanzania to improve the quality of their own reproductive health services.

Family Planning in Myanmar

Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Myanmar

Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate for increasing attention and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs in Myanmar.


Related Publications

December 2014

Change Starts Here: Pathfinder International 2014 Annual Report

We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.

November 2014

Leave No Woman Behind

It was a matter of life and death for Jenelia, who lives in a remote mountain village in Haiti, the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. This issue of Pathways explores how mobile technology is changing the way community health workers are delivering health services to women like Jenelia.

October 2014

mSante: Pioneering Mobile Technology to Improve Essential Health Services in Haiti

Pathfinder's Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haiti project, in collaboration with the Haitian government and MSPP, integrates the use of mobile tools for health - it incorporates the use of mSanté activities and finance tools to improve the delivery of quality health services for the people of Haiti.

August 2014

Cartes Aide-Mémoire de Conseil pour Adultes sur la Contraception (Multiple Languages)

Cet ensemble de cartes aide-mémoire de conseil sur la contraception a été développé pour aider une variété de prestataires à conseiller les adultes sur les options disponibles en matière de contraception.


Related News

Pathfinder project wins Population Institute Media Award

The Population Institute has awarded the "Hope in the Basin: Voices of the People" video the prize of Best Film or Miniseries as part of its 35th Annual Global Media Awards.

Five digital payment innovations with the potential to transform development

Visa and NetHope grant recipients illustrate the power of digital payments.

With Pathfinder International’s mHMtaani project (Swahili for “mobile health for my community”), community health workers in Kenya’s coastal region use a mobile phone application to register clients, provide health services and upload data to the cloud so program managers can monitor and analyze patient care and outcomes. 

Successful site visit to our Integrated Family Health Program in Ethiopia

Katie Taylor of USAID visits our IFHP program in Ethiopia

Burundi: Using contraceptives to battle population growth

Burundi is showing great progress in achieving the ambitious worldwide goal of FP2020: 120 million more women and girls with access to contraceptives and information about family planning.

Since Pathfinder started working in Burundi in 2007, the contraceptive prevalence rate rose in Kayanza from 7% to nearly 30% in 2013 while in Muyinga province it went from 12% in 2007 to 35% in 2013.

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