Government Decision Makers Are More Receptive to Family Planning Messages from Local Advocates
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Volume 41, Number 3, September 2015
According to “An Assessment of Family Planning Decision Makers’ and Advocates’ Needs and Strategies in Three East African Countries,” by Ellen Smith of Paladium, et al., key informants in government and nongovernmental organizations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi, believe that advocacy has helped to spur favorable shifts in government support of family planning. These decision makers noted, however, that advocacy messages must consider barriers to decision makers’ support for family planning—constituents’ negative attitudes; fear that increased contraceptive use could shrink the size and influence of specific voting blocs and ethnic groups; and competing economic, social, cultural, religious and political priorities. Although decision makers reported valuing the involvement of international family planning organizations and donors, they were more comfortable receiving advocacy messages from local sources who understand the issues and the context.