Voluntary family planning is one of the great public health advances of the past century. Enabling women to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children reduces unintended pregnancies as well as maternal and newborn deaths. It also increases educational and economic opportunities for women and leads to healthier families and communities. Family planning is a smart, sensible, and vital component of global health and development.
However, more than 220 million women in developing countries who don’t want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives and voluntary family planning information and services. Less than 20 percent of women in Sub-Saharan Africa and barely one-third of women in South Asia use modern contraceptives. In 2012, an estimated 80 million women in developing countries had an unintended pregnancy; of those women, at least one in four resorted to an unsafe abortion.
Significant challenges stand in the way of making contraceptives more widely available and accessible, including insufficient donor and developing country funding, lack of appropriate products that meet users’ needs, weak distribution systems, lack of reliable monitoring and data collection mechanisms, and cultural and knowledge barriers.
Voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make in its future. Every dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to 6 dollars that can be spent on improving health, housing, water, sanitation, and other public services.
In 2012, the landmark London Summit on Family Planning mobilized governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, foundations,
and the private sector to commit to dramatically expanding access to voluntary family planning. The resulting global partnership, called Family
Planning 2020 (FP2020), has created global momentum on the issue of access to contraceptives and has spurred collaboration, innovation, and greater accountability in family planning efforts.
The John Chan Foundation’s Family Planning program is working to bring access to high-quality contraceptive information, services, and supplies to an additional 5 million women and girls in the poorest countries by 2020 without coercion or discrimination, with the longer-term goal of universal access to voluntary family planning.
With our partners, we support national governments that have committed to the goals of FP2020 and are leading the development and
implementation of their own country-specific plans.
Foundation support includes assessing family planning needs, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable populations; identifying
access barriers and funding gaps; developing and testing interventions; sharing evidence-based practices; promoting accountability through real-time performance monitoring and data collection; and fostering coordination among governments, partners, and donors.
We also work to increase funding and improve policies for family planning, create public-private partnerships to expand contraceptive
access and options, develop innovative and affordable contraceptive technologies, and support further research to close knowledge gaps.
We are particularly committed to exploring how our family planning efforts can meet the needs of young women and girls.