Principles to Guide a Rights-Based Approach to Family Planninga

Rights ElementFamily Planning Program Implications
AccessibilityGeographic, physical, financial, and policy access (i.e., absence of nonmedical eligibility criteria); information is available in the languages and terms people can understand; continuous contraceptive security; suitable hours of operation; service integration to increase access
AcceptabilityCulturally appropriate facilities, methods, and services; community/family support for women's ability to choose, switch, or stop method of contraception; tolerance of side effects; privacy and confidentiality respected; client satisfaction with services
Accountability, participation, transparencyMechanisms exist for community members and family planning clients to provide input and feedback about services, and for health system to investigate and remedy allegations of or confirmed violations of rights; members of the community are involved in planning and monitoring family planning services; good governance and effective implementation, providing an environment that facilitates the discharge of all responsibilities; and the ability to readily access meaningful information, including de-identified data.
Agency, autonomy, empowerment, voluntarismKnowledge that one has the right to make decisions about health care; ability to make one's own decisions independent of system, husband, family, or community pressures; informed, voluntary decision making supported; meaningful participation of clients in program design and monitoring; client-controlled methods offered; supportive community gender norms; women, men, and young people know they can ask for services based on their needs, within their rights
AvailabilityBroad choice of methods offered; sufficient and needs-based distribution at functioning service delivery points
Informed choice, informed decision makingWomen and youth and all clients make own decisions about whether and what method of family planning to use, without pressure from anyone, with free access to accurate information they can understand and a range of options to choose from
Nondiscrimination, equityEveryone, no matter what group they come from, their age, or any other circumstance, has the same access to quality information and services; everyone is treated fairly and equitably
Quality (including privacy and confidentiality)Service providers are well trained and provide safe services, treat clients with respect, provide good counseling, and protect client privacy and confidentiality (ensuring client information cannot be observed by anyone else without client's consent; ensuring client records are not disclosed); stock a regular supply of contraceptives and all necessary equipment to provide the services clients want
  • a These rights principles for family planning flow from global treaties, covenants, and conventions that define rights broadly.

  • Sources: Modified from Family Planning 2020 (2014),12 WHO (2014),13 and Kumar et al. (2017).86 Note that the definition of quality also incorporates components from the updated Bruce/Jain Quality of Care Framework for Family Planning.37