2.1.03 Family Planning at the National Level




Thursday, November 14, 2013


Egbert Bruce, USAID | DELIVER PROJECT / Ghana
Irene Agyemang, USAID | DELIVER PROJECT Ghana
Philip Kwao, USAID | DELIVER PROJECT / Ghana

Title of Abstract/ Titre:

Encouraging Country-Led Strategies to Ensure Contraceptive Security in Ghana

Abstract Type / Type de résumé:

Program/Best Practices Abstract

Topic / Sujet:

Effective family planning programs

Significance/background / Importance/contexte:


Ensuring contraceptive security (CS)—which exists when men and women can choose, obtain, and use the contraceptives they need, whenever they need them—has been an ongoing challenge in Ghana. Activities that build capacity and support national ownership and the institutionalization of management, analysis, and sharing of logistics information among family planning (FP) stakeholders, are contributing to coordinated planning and action to achieve CS in Ghana. Previously driven by donors and cooperating agencies, country actors now lead the annual quantification exercises, as well as the monthly compilation and review of data for the Procurement Planning and Monitoring Report (PPMR); which is used by local and global partners in the West and Central Africa Contraceptive Early Warning System (EWS). Systematic participation in, and leadership of quantification and compilation of other supply chain data, further strengthens Ghana’s ability to provide invested parties with essential, increasingly reliable information for key decisions related to the provision of contraceptives.

Program intervention/activity tested:


The annual quantification exercise yields a forecast of commodity requirements and supply plans for a period of time; it is a requirement of the Ghana National Reproductive Health Commodity Security Strategy. Based on quantification results, as well as inventory information, countries prepare and send contraceptive stock status and other data on their CS situation to the PPMR, a tool employed by the Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs) donor group to expedite, delay, or provide emergency contraceptive shipments for reported issues. Countries in the West and Central Africa region participate in the EWS, an initiative that uses the PPMR to improve CS by serving as a catalyst for action. The EWS raises awareness around country-level contraceptive stock issues, encourages accountability of donors and countries, encourages countries to report standardized data, and informs partners of supply situations in participating countries.

Methodology / Méthodologie:


Building on training in logistics management, coaching, and other technical assistance from the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service (MOH/GHS) has, since January 2012, led other implementing partners; including the private sector, to prepare and update the quantification for contraceptives. The process includes collecting, organizing, and analyzing relevant data; and generating programmatic assumptions to prepare forecasts and supply plans for a number of FP programs in the country. The estimates and analysis provide an increasingly accurate forecast of commodity requirements, determine when procurements should be made, and indicate when shipments should arrive to ensure an adequate availability of commodities for clients. The quantification results are then presented to a forum of government and donor partners to solicit funding, inform procurement decisions, and harmonize shipment plans to ensure the continued availability of commodities.

Also, since January 2012, the MOH/GHS has led reporting to the PPMR. The monthly report contains stock status information, as well as critical recommendations for local and international stakeholders; it allows the preparers, as well as recipients, to flag issues so that action can be taken. By encouraging countries to report standardized data, and by informing both global and national partners of supply situations in countries, the PPMR acts as a catalyst for action—providing the critical information needed to prevent or mitigate stock imbalances: stockouts and under- and overstocks.

Results/key findings / Résultats/conclusions principales:


With minimal technical support, the MOH/GHS is taking increasing responsibility for quantification and PPMR reporting; in the past, through the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, donors were responsible for these activities. The Ghana MOH/GHS has adopted data collection, analysis, and sharing processes and platforms, as useful and credible mechanisms for maintaining healthy pipelines for contraceptives in-country and for sources of information for coordination among partners. Strengthened systems have led to greater confidence in data reliability, improved information sharing and transparency, and public-private partnering to ensure the availability of contraceptives for clients in Ghana.

PPMR data is also a staple item for Ghana’s Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Contraceptive Security (ICC/CS) logistics sub-committee and the procurement and supply management (PSM) coordination group meetings. The data are used for information sharing and decisionmaking.

Furthermore, coordination around this information has benefited family planning clients, not just in Ghana. For instance, two separate regional-level transfers of contraceptive commodities were carried out by Ghana in 2012, as a direct consequence of the visibility of countries’ stock status data in the PPMR. The actions further exemplify a growing ability to respond to emergencies and the ministry’s leadership in galvanizing its partners to avoid stockouts.

Program implications/lessons / Implications pour le programme/leçons:


Country-led information management and coordination are instrumental for ensuring supplies of contraceptives; this could also be adopted to ensure the availability of other essential medicines. Country-led responses in managing supply challenges have been instrumental in building coordination among donors, other stakeholders, and the government; expediting regional redistribution of commodities; and, most importantly, it has resulted in improved commodity availability for clients. To ensure they are sustained, capacity building and technical assistance can support country adoption of strategies to achieve CS.


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