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Community-based integrated family planning programs

Community-based integrated family planning programs

Studies in Family Planning 10(5): 177-182

ISSN/ISBN: 0039-3665

PMID: 483343

DOI: 10.2307/1965687

Since 1976, the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning has operated a series of pilot projects in several Asian countries in which family planning fieldworkers are given the added taks of controlling soil-transmitted intestinal parasite (hookworm) and providing associated nutrition education, as a means of increasing their credibility, contributing to more favorable attitudes toward family planning. Given that family planning is a new and formal program being introduced into a community, the Integrated Program has 4 stages: 1) Strategic planning. The earlier people at all levels are brought into the project processes, the higher the chances of positive commitment. A tripartate steering committee is thus formed, involving influential people from government, private, and expert sectors, with primary policy-making responsibility and responsibility for project design, implementation and assessment, and with links to funding sources. 2) Project design and development. Local leadership is identified and involved in discussions, and additional project staff, other personnel, and community groups are drawn in, a process called "bottom-up planning." Community leaders, properly motivated and trained, are best for organizing in the community, with project staff providing technical and logistical support. Plans are often modified, and identifying community leaders can be time consuming, but they are essential to program success. 3) Implementation. At this stage project staff has 2 functions: promotion and delivery of services and helping the community to take over the program at its maintenance stage. Where potentially cooperative local groups are not functioning, project staff must form them. 4) Assessment. While rates of family planning acceptance and continuation and declines in parasite infestation are indicators of success or failure, more important is people's attitude as shown by participation and assumption of responsibility. In addition to conventional measurements, 4 kinds of evidence also needed are positive reaction of the community; increased government recognition or support; increased cooperation and activity among government and private organizations on information, education, and communication; observable change in the community. The final, maintenance stage, when the program has become institutionalized and self sustaining within the community, has not yet been reached by any of the pilot proejcts.

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