Skip to content

Innovation & Approach

Local Capacity Strengthening

Pathfinder, in partnership with governments and civil society organizations, we have improved the accessibility of sexual and reproductive health services, globally.

Strengthening the Capacity of Local Partners 

Pathfinder has established deep bonds of trust with local partners. Together with governments and civil society organizations, we have drastically improved the accessibility and scale of sexual and reproductive health services and resilience of health and community systems in dozens of countries, changing lives for the better. We listen closely to our community partners and strengthen local capacity as part and parcel of how we advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and with sustainability and locally led development in mind.

Community-Based Organizations  

We partner with local community-based and civil society organizations to serve the needs of their communities. These organizations are trusted in their local communities and understand the context for running a program, but they often lack resources to do their work in an ideal way or operate at scale.  

We ensure meaningful and respectful partnerships built on trust, engaging community voices and facilitating locally led solutions from design through project implementation. We offer diverse approaches to capacity strengthening based on the priorities and identified needs of the organizations, including: 

  • trainings, coaching and mentorship, 
  • sharing resources and best practices, 
  • supporting development of organizational policies, process, and strategic plans, 
  • facilitating knowledge and skills exchange.  

We ensure our partners understand and follow global best practices when it comes to working on sexual and reproductive health and rights and managing programs. We help strengthen the institutional capacity of the organizations across technical, operational, management and governance so that they thrive and become more sustainable.  

Government Partners

Providing technical assistance to government partners at all levels is integral to ensuring strong sexual and reproductive health and rights programs. We strengthen government capacity to sustainably steer, deliver, coordinate, fund, and enact right-based policies that advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. We strive to co-create and co-manage programs with government partners; for example, we support joint assessments to identify strengths and gaps and develop and implement capacity- strengthening plans to advance key government and program priorities.

Health Worker Performance

Ensuring the health system is well prepared to serve women, girls, and communities, even in the most challenging environments, is the foundation is what we do.

This often entails training, coaching and mentoring health workers to provide quality, client-centered health care—ensuring they are applying best and high-impact practices; honoring clients’ rights to voluntary, informed contraceptive choice; and meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of clients.

We work with health managers and supervisors to mentor and build the skills of different cadres of the health workforce, creating sustainable pathways to oversight and quality assurance within the local health system and responsive to local needs.

We help health systems to adopt digital innovations that simplify data collection and analysis, and boost health worker performance.


With a shortage of qualified health workers operating in many of the places where we work, we work with governments to roll out task-sharing strategies, train community health workers to take on tasks usually designated to health providers working at static health facilities. A major part of this work has been training community health workers in multiple countries to offer more effective methods of contraception, like Sayana Press—a self-injectable—during home visits.

Youth Leaders

As an organization focused on a healthier future for all, we work with millions of young people every year. We not only help to ensure they get the services they need, but we strengthen their capacity to advocate for their own needs with local governments, provide sexual and reproductive health information and services to their fellow young people as peer educators and mentors, and ensure they are engaged and have a say in programs and services meant to benefit them.

  • We meaningfully engage youth to ensure that programs meant to serve them are locally led and responsive to their needs.
  • We prioritize youth-led organizations for capacity strengthening so that they can deliver quality, sustainable programs.
  • We enhance the leadership skills of young people to serve as youth champions in their communities.
Countries using this approach
Featured Stories & Perspectives

Upper Egypt: Local Partners Take the Lead for Women’s Health and Empowerment

For more than 40 years, Pathfinder has worked with local partners in Egypt to drive demand for family planning and…

Read The Story
Featured Stories & Perspectives

Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

The Her Future, Her Choice MEAL process focuses on evaluating the readiness of health facilities to provide high-quality, youth-friendly SRH…

Read The Story
Featured Stories & Perspectives

A Formula for Enduring Partnerships in Burkina Faso

Since 2018, the Evidence to Action (E2A) Project has partnered with Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health to strengthen critical reproductive…

Read The Story