Dissemination and use of WHO family planning guidance and tools

20 October, 2018

'Little is known about how countries access and use [WHO] materials.'

Citation and abstract below. Full text here (OA): https://health-policy-systems.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12961-...

CITATION: Kraft JM et al. Dissemination and use of WHO family planning guidance and tools: a qualitative assessment. Health Res Policy Syst. 2018 May 22;16(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12961-018-0321-1.


BACKGROUND: As countries continue to improve their family planning (FP) programmes, they may draw on WHO's evidence-based FP guidance and tools (i.e. materials) that support the provision of quality FP services.

METHODS: To better understand the use and perceived impact of the materials and ways to strengthen their use by countries, we conducted qualitative interviews with WHO regional advisors, and with stakeholders in Ethiopia and Senegal who use WHO materials.

RESULTS: WHO uses a multi-faceted strategy to directly and indirectly disseminate materials to country-level decision-makers. The materials are used to develop national family planning guidelines, protocols and training curricula.

Participants reported that they trust the WHO materials because they are evidence based, and that they adapt materials to the country context (e.g. remove content on methods not available in the country). The main barrier to the use of national materials is resource constraints.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the system and processes for dissemination work, improvements might contribute to increased use of the materials. For example, providers may benefit from additional guidance on how to counsel women with

characteristics or medical conditions where contraceptive method eligibility criteria do not clearly rule in or rule out a method.

'This descriptive qualitative project sought to answer the following questions: (1) how are WHO materials disseminated; (2) how are they used at the policy (e.g. developing guidelines) and implementation (e.g. use of decision-making tool in FP service settings) levels; and (3) what barriers and facilitators influence the use of WHO materials and materials based in part on WHO materials?'

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning


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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org