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Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Mother and child in Tanzania

C-Change is working to strengthen the capacity of governments and local organizations to carry out social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs and activities that increase awareness and use of modern family planning (FP) and improve reproductive health (RH). C- Change also develops materials and messages for radio, television, billboards, brochures, edutainment, and text messaging.

What we do is informed by our research, including on factors that  influence access to and use of modern contraceptive methods--gender norms, social norms, and misconceptions about the side effects of modern contraceptives.
 

Guidelines on Family Planning Communication for Kenya and Malawi

C-Change provided expert technical assistance to two governments—Kenya and Malawi—to develop guidance on communicating on family planning programs. Collaborating with Kenya’s Division of Reproductive Health and other stakeholders and partners, C-Change played a major role in developing the Reproductive Health Communication Strategy Implementation Guide. It supports the rollout of Kenya’s National Reproductive Health (RH) Communication Strategy and aims to ensure coordinated social and behavior change communication (SBCC) in RH programming at district, regional, and national levels.

C-Change provided considerable support for the Government of Malawi’s Guidelines for Family Planning Communication. The publication provides the framework for family planning communication programs and supports the National Reproductive Health Strategy, which promotes safer reproductive health practices, informed choice, and increased use of high quality, accessible, reproductive health services.

 

Country program examples

Albania: After investigating factors that influence contraceptive choice in Albania, C-Change has been working to change social norms related to FP/RH, combat prevalent misperceptions, and increase use of modern methods, including by working closely with pharmacists, university students, and journalists. We developed a comprehensive media campaign and trained journalists to be FP “champions” who incorporate RH messages into their stories.

SDM Study in Benin

Benin C-Change and Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) explored direct-to-consumer distribution in Benin of the paper version of Standard Days Method® (SDM), which helps women to identify “fertile windows” when they are most likely to become pregnant. CycleBeads®, a string of colored beads developed by IRH, is a low-cost visual tool that assists women to use SDM. The study report states that the paper version was well accepted by potential users and healthcare providers. Images, messages, instructions, and diagrams were understood and colors liked. In a two-month period, kiosks and salons disseminated nearly 1,800 paper SDM, sales of CycleBeads® increased, and healthcare providers received more enquiries about SDM and modern family planning methods. The report is available for download, along with executive summaries in French and English.

 DR Congo: C-Change is working with the government, stakeholders, and partners to reposition FP/RH policy and programming in the DRC. We have trained training community health volunteers (relais communautaire) to use the new Family Planning Dialogue Guide, available for download in English and French. The tool is used to guide conversations during home visits and group discussions on the benefits of modern contraceptives, birth spacing, and clinic-based FP counseling and antenatal care. C-Change also supports radio dramas on FP through community radio stations.  Young mother and baby in Tanzania

 Malawi: C-Change worked with the Health Education Unit of the Ministry of Health to craft an evidence-based planning process for FP communication strategies. C-Change also facilitated the setting up of a national task force on FP communication and led the development of national guidelines and a facilitator’s guide that was rolled out in 2011.

Kenya: C-Change assisted the Ministry of Health's Division of Reproductive Health and partners with the “Plan for Yourself A Good Life” campaign in 2010-2011, which promoted informed choice about modern contraceptives and child spacing. The campaign targeted peri-urban and rural men and women ages 25-35 in areas of the country where contraceptive prevalence is lowest. Read more

Tanzania:  C-Change activities began with a 2009 study on the role of gender norms and female empowerment in FP decision-making among married couples. It underscored the need for messaging to address misinformation and fears about modern contraceptive methods as well as the need to engage both men and women in equitable decision-making. These findings inform radio messages that support community-based distribution of oral contraceptives and condoms in Mwanza and Dodoma districts, a program managed by T-MARC.

 Zambia: In the Lundazi District, C-Change investigated how social norms influence FP uptake and the best ways to reach HIV-positive individuals with FP information. Contraceptive commodities were available within TB and HIV services at clinic and community levels and providers were trained to deliver FP counseling and facilitate dialogues.