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Soc Mark Forum. 1984 Summer;1(4):3.

Pakistan/USAID to start CSM project.

[No authors listed]



Pakistan, with the assistance of funds for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is about to start its novel approach to contraceptive social marketing (CSM). This new effort suggests a marked policy shift on the part of the Pakistan government toward intensifying its family planning activities. The program will be government-operated and supported by AID over the next 5 years with $20 million, more than double the cost of similar CSM projects elswhere. Distribution of a condom on a pilot project basis is expected to begin by December 1984. Sales of a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) could begin in test market areas by mid-1985, with national launching of both products tentatively scheduled for January 1986. The Pakistan/USAID agreement represents the 1st time since the formation of India's Nirodh project in the late 1960s that a CSM program is being established without the involvement of either an international social marketing contractor or a country's family planning association. The Pakistan CSM program will be managed by a policy board composed of representatives from the government's Ministries of Planning, Health and Education; a resident advisor from USAID; and a local company responsible for product marketing and distribution. The approach has received a skeptical response among international social marketing experts about the program's chances for success. Their doubts extend to 2 other aspects of the proposed design: an official of the Ministry of Planning's Population and Welfare Division expects the CSM program to generate sufficient revenues to cover all operating costs following the 5-year subsidy period, while also providing attractive profit margins for the marketing/distribution company; and the government prohibits mass media advertising of contraceptives. According to AID, the issue of mass media contraceptive advertising has not yet been resolved, and a national survey will be conducted to determine what communication needs are required for product promotion. In addition, AID's agreement requires a yearly review by the Pakistan government of its marketing strategies. The Pakistan government hopes that its new emphasis on family planning can slow the country's annual rate of population growth from 1983's 2.9% figure to 2.6% by 1988.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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