Access to family planning products and services improves women’s health and child survival rates and increases educational and economic opportunities for women, families, and communities. But the family-planning needs of women in many regions around the world are not being met.
In Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, 14.9 million women have unmet needs for products or services and do not use modern methods of contraception.
PSI, a global non-profit that has supported family-planning efforts in India and around the world for more than 40 years, sought to understand why the market is failing to serve the needs of the poor. In what ways could manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and healthcare providers better serve consumers seeking contraception?
In 2016, PSI hired FSG to conduct a landscape study on the current family-planning market in India. FSG’s objective was to identify the key market failures preventing women and girls in India from adopting family planning products and services, and recommend opportunities for strengthening the market.
Through analysis of secondary data and 11 months of in-depth field research in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, FSG studied the value chains and supporting environments of 5 common family-planning products and services: condoms, oral contraceptive pills, IUD, sterilization, and emergency contraception.
FSG analyzed government health survey data to determine which consumers are not served by the current family planning market, identify key trends related to the use of family planning products, and explore the reasons why women are not using contraception.
In the field, FSG conducted more than 700 interviews with actors from every part of the family-planning market, including:
- Government agencies
- Manufacturers and marketers of family-planning products
- Distributors in both the public and private sector
- Doctors, pharmacy professionals, and other family-planning providers
From this research, FSG developed a comprehensive landscape assessment highlighting the key barriers to success faced by individual actors, as well as the market as a whole. FSG facilitated a workshop with various PSI offices to collaboratively discuss the research and explore opportunities for impact.
Incorporating insights from the workshop, FSG identified 4 thematic constraints and root causes preventing women from using family-planning products, and developed action plans to address them. FSG formed these action plans by highlighting which issues connected to PSI’s current programming, providing cost analysis for different interventions, and outlining the partnerships required for implementation.
Today, FSG’s research is helping PSI build relationships with the private sector to help more women access and adopt family-planning products in India.
PSI is a global health network of more than 60 local organizations dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition.
A hallmark of PSI is a commitment to the principle that health services and products are most effective when they are accompanied by robust communications and distribution efforts that help ensure wide acceptance and proper use.
PSI works in partnership with local governments, ministries of health, and local organizations to create health solutions that are built to last.