A Total Market Approach to Improve Access to Family Planning

Jul 11, 2016

CHAPEL HILL, NC-An estimated 225 million women in developing countries want to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any contraceptive method, in many cases because they lack access to products and services.

Today, on World Population Day, MEASURE Evaluation focuses attention on the "total market approach" (TMA) to family planning, which can address gaps and inequities in access for couples through coordination and collaboration among the three key players for family planning: government health care services, nonprofit health care services, and the business/commercial sector for family planning products.

While many countries are interested in the TMA approach to family planning policies and strategies, it's difficult to know what steps to take first to inform plans and programs. MEASURE Evaluation, in collaboration with the Evidence Project (both funded by USAID), has developed several resources, including a planning tool and a two-volume handbook, to standardize a best-practice guide for countries to assess their particular need and readiness for TMA.

A typical plan starts with a landscape assessment to review existing data and literature and discuss the country's needs with stakeholders, including providers and couples. If, in subsequent discussions, stakeholders agree that a TMA strategy would be beneficial, then an in-depth market analysis should be conducted to inform the strategy. These steps are essential for developing a comprehensive plan that outlines the TMA strategy and describes the roles and responsibilities of those who will carry out the strategy. In the final phases, the TMA plan's market-shaping activities are implemented, monitored, and evaluated.

The TMA approach aims to increase family planning use by creating an efficiently segmented market that provides access to a full range of family planning products and services for key target groups. Increasing access to family planning can result in better health, more stable family economics, and social benefits for families and communities.

For countries considering TMA to address gaps in family planning coverage, these new materials can remove guesswork and provide a path to making the right decisions.

For more information

The TMA Module 1: Landscape Assessment is designed to assist countries in the first step and Module 2-currently in development-will provide guidance on conducting the in-depth market analysis.

There also is a handbook for researchers who will be conducting the in-depth market analysis. It consists of: Volume 1: Using Data to Inform a Total Market Approach to Family Planning; and Volume 2: Tools and Resources for an In-Depth Analysis of the Family Planning Market.

MEASURE Evaluation is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under terms of Cooperative Agreement AID-OAA-L-14-00004 and implemented by the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partnership with ICF International, John Snow, Inc., Management Sciences for Health, Palladium, and Tulane University. The views expressed in this e-mail do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.

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