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 2014, women and men made 5.6 million visits for contraceptive services at health facilities supported by Pathfinder.

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 225 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 Health Care 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

PAST PROJECT: 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 2015

Without Fear or Boundary: Pathfinder International's 2015 Annual Report

Forging a new path is part of Pathfinder’s DNA. Last year, in 26 developing countries, we pushed through barriers to ensure millions of women, men, and young people are able to access critical sexual and reproductive health care and choose their own paths forward. Read more in our 2015 Annual Report.

December 2015

Fortalecimento de Sistemas Integrados de Saude e Comunitarios Para a Melhoria do Acesso e Uso de Contraceptivos na Provincia de Nampula, Mocambique

This Portuguese translation of a Pathfinder technical brief discusses a retrospective programmatic analysis undertaken by the Strengthening Communities through Integrated Programming (SCIP) project team in Mozambique.

October 2015

Integrated Health and Community Systems Strengthening for Improved Contraceptive Access and Uptake in Nampula Province, Mozambique

Implemented in northern Mozambique, Pathfinder’s SCIP project achieved notable increases in a key contraception indicator over its lifecycle. Recognizing the opportunity to learn from this finding, the project team conducted a retrospective programmatic analysis, which is described in this technical brief.

July 2015

Integrated Family Health Program: Endline Household Survey Summary Report

This household survey was designed to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and health behaviors among families in the Integrated Family Health Program's catchment areas between 2008 and 2013.


Related News

Global Health Leaders Call to Expand Contraceptive Choice for Adolescents and Youth to Include Long-Acting Reversible Methods

Leading global health organizations discussed their commitment to a new Global Consensus Statement supporting the expansion of contraceptive choice for young people to include long-acting reversible contraceptives at the International Conference of Family Planning.

Barriers to "Morning After" Pill

The ‘morning after’ pill is effective up to five days after unprotected sex. Often confused with medical abortion pills, the pill's high price puts it out of reach for most women.

“Lack of awareness, bias of service providers, lack of requisitioning, no proper study done regarding its uptake” are further major barriers to ECP use, Tauseef Ahmed, country representative of Pathfinder International, a family planning and reproductive health NGO, tells SciDev.Net. 

The Road To 2030: Keeping Reproductive Health Supplies in Myanmar’s Universal Health Coverage Scheme

Preparations for universal health coverage are progressing steadily in Myanmar. Reproductive health supplies, including contraceptives, are already a priority for the government.

Fin à Cotonou des travaux de la 4ème réunion annuelle du Partenariat de Ouagadougou

Les Délégués des neuf pays du Partenariat de Ouagadougou, les représentants de la société civile, les partenaires techniques et financiers réunis du 9 au 11 Décembre 2015 à Cotonou au Bénin dans le cadre de la 4ème réunion annuelle, ont clôturé leurs travaux, vendredi dernier avec beaucoup d'espoirs et de détermination à accélérer la PF en 2016-2020.

Dr Sani Aliou de Pathfinder Afrique de l'ouest: «Je suis confiant que même si le Niger n'atteint pas les 25%, il va se rapprocher certainement.»

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