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

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

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.

May 2015

Making the difference: An intensive model for strengthening civil society capacity in Mozambique

This technical brief explores Pathfinder’s intensive approach to strengthening the organizational capacity of five youth-serving civil society organizations in Mozambique.

May 2015

Resposta Multissectorial à Violência Baseada No Género em Moçambique (multiple languages)

This Portuguese translation of a Pathfinder technical brief explores implementation of a multisectoral approach to GBV prevention and response across two projects in Mozambique, and outlines key lessons learned and next steps.

Related News

Pathfinder and E2A Events Postponed at ICFP

Due to the postponement of the International Conference on Family Planning, the following planned Pathfinder and E2A side events have also been postponed.

Despite the odds, one doctor promotes family planning in Muslim Nigeria

For 10 years, Dr. Farouk Mohammed Jega has been championing evidence-based arguments to try to persuade clerics that Islam supports family planning methods, contrary to the views of many clerics in Nigeria.

Fit contraception to local needs, health workers urged

Giving women the option of using contraception tailored to their individual circumstances is vital to increasing birth control in developing countries, an event heard last week.

Anahí de Cárdenas presentará la campaña “Si tomaste una decisión, cuídate”

The actress and model, Anahí de Cárdenas, officially presents the campaign "Si tomaste una decisión, cuídate" to raise awareness among women of childbearing age on methods of contraception.
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