Government Of Uttar Pradesh Begins Family Planning Program Review

By Mervyn Christian, AFP Program Officer, and Monica Wahengbam, AFP Program Coordinator, India

Last month, Advance Family Planning partner Population Foundation of India (PFI) organized and facilitated an orientation for program managers and directors of Uttar Pradesh’s 18 divisions on conducting a family planning program review. The orientation was the first step in launching quarterly review meetings aimed at strengthening the state’s family planning program; the first round of meetings are scheduled to take place this month.

During the orientation, held January 21st, participants identified parameters for the comprehensive review, such as quality of care, stock-outs of contraceptives, health management information system (HMIS) data analysis, and family planning expenditures under the approved program implementation plans.

During the orientation, the divisional program managers made commitments to strengthen the program, including to:

  • Ensure that monthly quality assurance committee meetings occur and to strengthen the quality of care,
  • Conduct smaller, focused weekly and monthly family planning program reviews to identify gaps and strengthen the program,
  • Improve HMIS data input and analysis,
  • Promote post-partum intra uterine contraceptive devices,
  • Increase male participation in the program, and
  • Engage private sector for better provision of services.

The meeting was chaired by the National Health Mission (NHM) Director for Uttar Pradesh and the Additional Executive Director for the State Innovations for Family Planning Services Project Agency (SIFPSA). The chairs communicated strong messages to improve and strengthen the program. “The family planning program is not about population control but goes much beyond…A good family planning program can reduce maternal mortality up to 26%, as shown by Sample Registration Survey. It needs to be the top priority of the state and should be reviewed to understand the gaps and strengthen it,” emphasized Amit Kumar Ghosh, Executive Director-SIFPSA and Mission Director-National Health Mission during the orientation.

In October 2014, the Government of India through the NHM approved the quarterly review meetings and committed a separate budget line of Rs. 16.4 lakhs (approximately US $26,000) at the divisional level in Uttar Pradesh to fund them. PFI worked closely with the Department of Health and Family Welfare and SIFPSA to advocate for the budget line.

The goal of the review meetings is to aid in tracking the progress and expenditures of the family planning program on a regular basis. This will provide opportunities for concrete inputs to improve the family planning program and identify areas that require additional funds or increase in expenditure. The meetings also have the potential to increase engagement of health officials on family planning at the state and national levels. While nearly 100 programs are reviewed every month at the divisional level, family planning has thus far not been one of them.

As a next step, PFI has been invited to facilitate review meetings in select divisions beginning this month. Through its engagement with SIFPSA, the state project management unit, and the health and family welfare department, PFI will facilitate the implementation of commitments that are expected to increase funding and expenditures and improve quality of care for family planning.

Read more about our advocacy efforts in Uttar Pradesh here

Population Foundation of India