Ensuring that women around the world have access to high-quality family planning (FP) information, services, and commodities requires commitments such as those made as part of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). However, a myriad of bottlenecks, including diversion of funds due to competing priorities, delays and leakages of resources, limited contraceptive choice, poor quality service provision, and inadequate protection of women’s rights, can prevent these commitments from translating into real progress in family planning access, quality, and rights. Further, limited resources and disincentives often limit government efforts to monitor and address these problems. New solutions are needed.
In recent years, accountability initiatives led by citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) have proliferated, particularly in the health and education sectors. These initiatives, also referred to as social accountability (SAc) initiatives, are designed to empower citizens and ensure that government policy, spending, and services are high- quality, efficient, and responsive to citizens’ needs. There is growing evidence that when appropriately designed and implemented these interventions produce important results including greater citizen agency and engagement, higher quality and more appropriate services, improved provider performance, increased service utilization, more efficient allocation and use of resources, and improved development outcomes. With appropriate support, social accountability initiatives in the FP sector can address bottlenecks and help FP programs achieve their goals.
This study – led by the Results for Development Institute (R4D) with generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – was designed to identify options to support stronger monitoring and accountability (M&A), particularly social accountability, around Family Planning 2020 and family planning more broadly.
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