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Webinar Reading Time: 4 minutes

Strategies to Engage the Private Sector in FP/RH

Insights, Experiences, and Lessons Learned from Asia

On August 16, 2023, Knowledge SUCCESS hosted a webinar titled ‘Strategies to Engage the Private Sector in FP/RH: Insights, Experiences, and Lessons Learned from Asia’. The webinar explored strategies to engage the private sector, as well as successes and lessons learned from implementation experiences from RTI International in the Philippines and MOMENTUM Nepal/FHI 360 in Nepal.

Featured Speakers:

  • Vinit Sharma, Regional Technical Adviser, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Family Planning, UNFPA
  • Estrella Jolito, Local Partnerships Officer, RTI International, Philippines
  • Srishti Shah, Senior Communications, Documentation and Knowledge Management Specialist, MOMENTUM Nepal/FHI 360, Nepal

Download the slides from the session here [Link to PDF slide deck].

The Importance of Private Sector Partnership for FP & SRH

Watch now: [6:50 – 12:54]

Dr. Vinit Sharma started the webinar with an overview of the importance of private sector partnerships for family planning (FP) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Dr. Sharma began by highlighting several successful experiences with private sector partnerships and then outlined his thoughts regarding next steps for the future of private sector partnerships including making new services available through private public partnerships, including the community and leveraging partnerships to encourage male involvement, ensuring availability of valid and reliable data, and not overlooking provider bias and prejudices.

“Partnerships with the private sector can translate into health of the people, by the people, for the people—a true democracy of health, and it helps increase access, availability, and quality, and improves the efficiency of services and job opportunities for young people.”

Private Sector Engagement for FP through FP in the Workplace: A Matching Model

Watch now: [14:55 – 25:47]

Estrella Jolito presented on the Matching Model implemented by the USAID-funded Reach Health project in the Philippines. Reach Health collaborated with the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Health, and the Commission on Population and Development to implement the FP in the Workplace Program: A Matching Model.

In the Philippines, large companies are mandated to provide free FP services to employees. In order to help facilitate this mandate, Reach Health tested a matching model with two companies, Gaisano Capital and Ocean Deli Packing Corporation. Both companies expressed an interest in implementing family planning in the workplace and were considered a good fit for the program after a series of consultation meetings with the Department of Labor and Employment. Gaisano Capital was matched with Mom’s Birthing Home and Family Planning Clinic and Ocean Deli was matched with GenSan Medical Center to provide family planning services to their employees. The matching process included 6 steps:

  • 1. A baseline assessment
  • 2. A mapping activity to find the nearest private facility and build their capacity
  • 3. Matching each company with a private provider
  • 4. Establishing the partnership through a formal agreement
  • 5. Implementation including demand generation for FP services among employees, and
  • 6. Monitoring and evaluation

In order to ensure employees could receive the FP services provided, both companies excused employees for up to an hour whenever they needed to see their service provider for scheduled FP services. In the first quarter alone, over 119 individuals out of 268 non users (44%) accepted an FP method through the program. In addition, given the increasing demand for FP services, the City Health Office committed to allocate FP commodities and supplies for employees of Gaisano Capital. Several key lessons learned include the importance of adaptability, effective communication, flexibility, and strong collaboration with clear roles and responsibilities clearly outlined among all parties.

MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery Nepal: Insights and Experiences for Scaling up FP Approach

Watch now: [26:09 – 38:00]

Srishti Shah presented on the USAID supported MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery Nepal project implemented by FHI 360, Nepal CRS Company, and PSI Nepal. During the pilot phase engagement – started in October 2021 – the project worked with 105 private sector facilities and pharmacies across 7 municipalities and 2 provinces in Nepal.

The project improved technical capacity in adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) and FP counselling, initiated quality improvement approaches including a client feedback mechanism, and enhanced data collection and use from the private sector. To link improved quality FP service delivery to customer loyalty and improved business, they also implemented a business skills training that included demand generation skills, and implemented community mobilization efforts.

During the pilot phase, 158 private providers were trained in ASRH and received training on value clarification and attitude transformation to challenge harmful norms and stigma around providing adolescents with FP/RH services including contraceptives. In addition, 180 providers were trained in how to provide injectables to clients.

It’s also worth highlighting that at the beginning of the project, only 14% of providers had set aside counselling rooms or spaces. In response to monthly quality coaching that highlighted the importance of privacy, by the end of the pilot implementation period, all site owners had restructured their existing space to make private counselling rooms or spaces for all clients, including adolescents. In addition, during the pilot phase each site received more than 200 clients every month seeking short acting contraceptives, of which 20% were adolescents and 46% were young people.

The project is currently scaling up to 811 new sites across 64 additional municipalities and 6 provinces. In their shift to scale-up, the pilot sites are moved from intensive monthly support to a less intensive quarterly support to encourage them to be more self-reliant and to operationally enable the project staff to offer the same package of intensive support to the new scale-up sites. The project’s key scale up considerations include adaptive management for which the team uses the automated dashboards from the quality improvement and monitoring application as well as timely pause and reflects. Additionally, refining the approach to suit new geographies and context as well as approaches such as journey mapping and Human-Centred Design are used to tailor implementation for marginalised communities within the expanded catchment area during the scale-up. Lastly, sustainable linkages are built so that government authorities and private sector clusters take up ownership for the interventions that worked and continue quality improvement sustain gains made during engagement with the project.

Q&A and Discussion

Watch now: [38:19 – 1:05:45]

The webinar concluded with a rich discussion facilitated by Dr. Sharma where Estrella and Srishti answered participant questions from the chat. Several questions focused on access to data and how to get buy-in from the private sector.

Resources Shared During the Webinar

Knowledge SUCCESS ended the webinar by sharing a link to an FP insight collection that includes several key documents on engaging the private sector in FP/RH.

Anne Ballard Sara, MPH

Senior Program Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Anne Ballard Sara is a Program Officer II at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, where she supports knowledge management research activities, field programs, and communications. Her background in public health includes behavior change communication, family planning, women’s empowerment, and research. Anne served as a health volunteer in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and holds a Master of Public Health from George Washington University.