A pair of newly published briefs explore the current and future role of the private sector in providing modern contraception across the 69 FP2020 focus countries. SHOPS Plus partner Avenir Health conducted the analysis, which used data from Family Planning 2020's Core Indicator Estimates and Demographic and Health Surveys. Michelle Weinberger and Sean Callahan co-authored the briefs.
“Our analysis shows the large role the private sector plays now—providing services to more than a third of women using modern contraception across the FP2020 countries. We also look at the important role it can play to further increase access to high quality modern contraceptives over the next few years,” said Weinberger, who works on both the SHOPS Plus and the Gates-funded Track20 projects for Avenir Health.
The projections show that in 2020, nearly 4 million more young women living in 69 of the world’s poorest countries will rely on the private sector to help them to delay, space, or prevent having children if current trends continue.
Condoms would experience the largest increase in use (3 million more users), followed by injectables (2 million more users) and pills (1 million more users). There is much potential growth in the number of young people who will rely on the private sector for contraception.
Adapting to serve more young women
The briefs explore possible scenarios and show how the private sector could better meet the needs of young women. Taking advantage of the opportunities to increase access through the private sector requires investments from family planning stakeholders. For example, governments could adopt WHO guidelines on task sharing of injectable contraceptives to a wider range of health workers, especially staff at private pharmacies and drug shops. Donors and global family planning advocates could support governments and local leaders to identify and leverage resources needed to address policy, training, commodity access, financing, and other youth-specific barriers.
Private sector sources, such as clinics and pharmacies, could greatly increase their provision of injectable contraceptives and long-acting and reversible methods of contraception.
Governments should work with stakeholders—including young women—to develop policies and guidelines that allow all types of youth (including those who are married) to access contraception from the full range of private providers.
The two briefs complement one another. One brief gives an overall view of family planning and the private sector’s contribution. The other brief focuses on family planning for youth.