SHOPS Plus is working to ensure the sustainability of two major social marketing organizations in Asia: the Nepal CRS Company (CRS) and the Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO). The project provides these organizations with technical assistance to increase access to and demand for products and services, and strengthens their organizational capacity and sustainability.
Social marketing makes family planning products and services available and affordable to all segments of the population. In 2016, social marketing organizations around the world delivered 74.9 million couple years of protection, a 10 percent increase from 2015. In Nepal, 38 percent of short-term modern method users rely on brands supplied by CRS, and in Afghanistan, ASMO contributes to 22 percent of Afghanistan’s modern method contraceptive prevalence rate.
In order to ensure this assistance is effective, SHOPS Plus developed the Social Marketing Organizational Development Assessment Tool that benchmarks progress in the institutional development of social marketing organizations. The tool assesses a social marketing organization across three areas of sustainability: technical, institutional, and financial. It measures the organization against an ideal standard for social marketing organizations using a simple scoring system that rates the degree to which the organization meets the standard. The tool covers operational areas, including fundraising, financial performance and controls, governance, and product and service quality assurance.
The project assessed CRS and ASMO and, in collaboration with its partners, developed tailored plans for each organization based on the findings. In Nepal, SHOPS Plus worked with CRS to review logistics and procurement, develop and implement marketing strategies, and train staff on new business development. In Afghanistan, the project worked with ASMO to conduct research to inform marketing strategies, to explore new health products and their procurement, and expand distribution and access in women’s markets and gardens.
SHOPS Plus reassesses the organizations annually to measure their progress and identify new focus areas for the coming year. By the end of the project, the project plans to transition the implementation of the tool to CRS and ASMO for them to continue using this evidence-based approach to develop customized capacity building and sustainability strategies.