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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Starting from scratch: Lessons learned from the Gambia Social Marketing Management Program

Bill Winfrey, PhD1, Shaun ONeil, MPA2, and Beth A. Howell, BA2. (1) Futures Group International, Constella Group, 1 Thomas Circle, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005, (2) Center for Private Sector Solutions, Futures Group, One Thomas Circle NW, Ste 200, Washington, DC 20005, 202-777-9743, bhowell@futuresgroup.com

As a small, poor country in West Africa, the Gambia faces large challenges in funding and implementing an effective family planning program. Given its small size, it is frequently not in the technical assistance plans of international donors and given its poverty, all resources must be tapped. In a purely practical, pragmatic sense affordable family planning and condoms were only available via government health clinics and the IPPF affiliate Gambia Family Planning Association (GFPA).

With a World Bank credit, the Government of Gambia is sponsoring an innovative social marketing program that addresses these challenges. The Gambia Social Marketing Management Program (GSMMP), born in June of 2003, is implemented by the Futures Group.

To address the lack of donor technical assistance, the Futures team includes two partners, GFPA and the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation (GSMF) who blend international, regional and local expertise. GSMF is a sustainable NGO that markets public health goods. Its role in the Gambia social marketing program is to pass along the lessons of its vast experience. GFPA provides the element of immediate sustainability that Gambia needs given the lack of donor presence.

Immediately at inception, GSMMP set out to leverage the commercial sector to expand access to family planning products and condoms. This strategy has proved prudent as donor assistance is limited and no previous experience or distribution network for socially marketed goods existed. The combination of private sector participation with local (GFPA) and regional (GSMF) expertise facilitated early succeses for the project.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Social Marketing, Population

Related Web page: www.futuresgroup.com

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

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