Glob Health Sci Pract 2014;2(4):410-426

Demand Generation Activities and Modern Contraceptive Use in Urban Areas

Speizer IS, Corroon M, Calhoun L, Lance P, Montana L, Nanda P and Guilkey D

Abstract Family planning is crucial for preventing unintended pregnancies and for improving maternal and child health and well-being. In urban areas where there are large inequities in family planning use, particularly among the urban poor, programs are needed to increase access to and use of contraception among those most in need. This paper presents the midterm evaluation findings of the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (Urban RH Initiative) programs, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that are being implemented in 4 countries: India (Uttar Pradesh), Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. Between 2010 and 2013, the Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) project collected baseline and 2-year longitudinal follow-up data from women in target study cities to examine the role of demand generation activities undertaken as part of the Urban RH Initiative programs. Evaluation results demonstrate that, in each country where it was measured, outreach by community health or family planning workers as well as local radio programs were significantly associated with increased use of modern contraceptive methods. In addition, in India and Nigeria, television programs had a significant effect on modern contraceptive use, and in Kenya and Nigeria, the program slogans and materials that were blanketed across the cities (e.g., leaflets/brochures distributed at health clinics and the program logo placed on all forms of materials, from market umbrellas to health facility signs and television programs) were also significantly associated with modern method use. Our results show that targeted, multilevel demand generation activities can make an important contribution to increasing modern contraceptive use in urban areas and could impact Millennium Development Goals for improved maternal and child health and access to reproductive health for all.

Comment: This nice paper shows that the use of mass communication, like the use of contraception in popular television series, can significantly increase the use of family planning in the community. (HMV)