Online Program

Using "conversations" to convert family planning knowledge into practice

Monday, November 2, 2015

Michelle Gardner, BSc (Econ); MSc, Asia Region, Chemonics International, Washington, D.C., DC
Background:In the Philippines there is a significant gap between the knowledge of and the use of family planning. The challenge for health partners is not the provision of information, but converting knowledge into practice. This paper describes a behavior change approach focusing on reducing this gap.

Method: The approach, known as Usapan, or “conversation,” was developed by the USAID/PRISM2 project. Focusing on private midwives, a key family planning provider in the Philippines, Usapan is a structured process of facilitated group discussion followed by one-on-one counseling and immediate service provision. Usapanuses adult learning exercises to encourage reflection. The linkage between knowledge acquisition, behavior change decision-making, and immediate, on-site, service provision, maximizes the chances of converting positive attitude changes into behavior changes and family planning uptake.

Results: Close to 19,000 women and men were reached with family planning counseling through Usapan. Seventy percent of those reached indicated interest in specific family planning methods, and close to 50 percent received their desired method immediately. These figures point to the ability of the approach to generate high demand for contraceptive methods and to transform demand into contraceptive uptake. When implemented properly, Usapan has proven to be an important tool that private midwives can use to market their services.

Discussion: Results indicate that the Usapan approach motivates and facilitates contraceptive uptake among people who might otherwise hesitate to obtain services. Adapting this approach for use in other geographic and service settings has the potential to significantly contribute to reducing unmet need for family planning.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the successful use of the Usapan (“conversation”) approach to reach men and women with family planning counseling and services. Design a behavior change approach that uses adult learning exercises to maximize results.

Keyword(s): Family Planning, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was Chief of Party for the USAID/PRISM2 project, with technical oversight responsibility for this initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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