Government Ownership and Adaptation in Scale-Up: Experiences from Community-Based Family Planning Programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Murtala Mai, Elham Hassen, Alexis B. Ntabona, Jacqueline Bapura, Meera Sarathy, Rachel Yodi, Zenon Mujani

Abstract

A systematic approach to scale-up was applied to expand an integrated package of family planning and primary healthcare services from the Democratic Republic of the Congo‘s South Kivu province to health zones in Lomami, Lualaba, and Kasai Central provinces. This approach was based on recommendations from the ExpandNet/WHO guide Beginning with the end in mind. The approach emphasized application of three recommendations: engaging government stakeholders, ensuring the relevance of the intervention, and tailoring the innovation to the setting. This approach led to successful scale-up of community-based family planning, increasing access to and uptake of contraception and demonstrating potential for sustainability; 231,566 new acceptors were recruited and 149,826 couple-years of protection were generated. The systematic scale-up approach led to integration of community-based family planning indicators in the national health information system and transferred ownership of the interventions to the government, creating and strengthening government platforms with potential to sustain the interventions. (Afr J Reprod Health 2019; 23[4]:35-45).

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