A total market approach to reproductive health

November 2, 2012 by PATH

New publication co-authored by PATH looks at country experiences in improving family planning access, equity, and sustainability

A new publication co-authored by PATH examines efforts by public- and private-sector partners to work together to improve access to family planning products and services and to enhance the equity and sustainability of family planning programs. 

The document, Total Market Initiatives for Reproductive Health, is the first to examine key lessons from total market initiatives across multiple countries. It serves as a primer for government leaders working toward the long-term sustainability of family planning programs through a broad-based market approach that stretches across an array of service delivery points, from commercial drug shops to public-sector clinics. 

PATH collaborated on the publication with Abt Associates and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, with the support of the US Agency for International Development and the Fred H. Bixby Foundation. The document was released at the annual meeting of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in October.

Defining the total market approach

At the London Summit on Family Planning in July, global leaders met to discuss strategies for reaching an additional 120 million women worldwide with family planning services and supplies. One strategy is the total market approach, in which public and private partners work together to better coordinate markets to increase family planning access and sustainability.

This approach directs public and donor financing to services for the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls, while self-financing and commercial services are targeted to consumers who are able to pay some or all of the cost of products and services. 

The primer shows how these partnerships can be built, with practical steps and examples from six countries: Honduras, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Vietnam. It documents the work of members of the Market Development Approaches Working Group of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in defining and implementing total market initiatives and discusses the implementation process and indicators to measure success.

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