Systematic Reviews of Financing Mechanisms for Family Planning

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

While substantial progress has been made over the last few decades in family planning access and utilization, additional efforts are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of ensuring “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.” In many parts of the world, a large gap persists between women’s reproductive intentions and their access to contraceptives. Unmet need varies widely by region, ranging from 5% in Eastern Asia to 26% in Central Africa.

Researchers have aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to satisfy demand for contraceptives involving a variety of different financing mechanisms including pay-for-performance, community-based financing, removal of user fees, family planning vouchers and cash transfers. Studies in Family Planning recently published a series of open access systematic reviews assessing these different financing mechanisms for family planning in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Summary

Systematic reviews of mechanisms for financing family planning: Findings, implications, and future agenda

Financing mechanisms

Paying for performance to improve the delivery and uptake of family planning in low and middle income countries: A systematic review

Community-based financing of family planning in developing countries: A systematic review

How user fees influence contraception in low and middle income countries: A systematic review

Family planning vouchers in low and middle income countries: A systematic review

Conditional and unconditional cash transfers to improve use of contraception in low and middle income countries: A systematic review

The authors in the Study Group on Contraceptive Financing Mechanisms point out that the evidence base in this area is weak. These systematic reviews illustrate the need for more rigorous research evaluating the effectiveness of different financing mechanisms for family planning.

Learn about the relationship between family planning and maternal health.

Access papers from the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning.