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Popul Manag. 1989 Dec;3(2):6-13.

South Asian co-operation in population programmes.



Efforts by governments of South Asian countries to improve the economic growth and welfare of the people are being negated by high fertility. In some countries, the expenditures on health programs have increased and the programs have expanded rapidly without any concomitant improvement in efficiency or cost-effectiveness. This highlights the urgency of tackling the problems of not only population growth but also of managing population programs. There are similarities as well as differences in the management of population programs in the South Asian countries. Bangladesh has a population policy with a strong political will behind it. It also has a sound administrative structure and organization. Some areas that need attention are building up the operational relationship between health and family planning personnel, improved infrastructure development, more community involvement, and better evaluation. Some states in India have shown outstanding success in population programs, and some have successfully experimented with beyond family planning methods. A greater awareness of family planning among health staff, a solid information base for decision making, and management training for medical officers and staff are also needed. Pakistan's population program has had uneven results in the past, but it has now developed multi-sectoral components in decentralized field activities, involvement of local organizations and leaders, and better information, education, and social marketing, but it still needs to plan for evaluation and strengthen management training. Of the South Asian countries, Sri Lanka, with a high level of literacy and health care, has shown the best achievement in its social sector. The coverage through the maternal and child health service delivery system has been commendable with 94% of deliveries through institutions. Regional meetings have identified program management problem areas in 1) planning, control, and coordination of program implementation, 2) setting realistic targets and goals at the district and community levels, 3) better management of integrated programs, 4) inventory and procurement, 5) maintenance and servicing of equipment and vehicles, 6) program and performance appraisal skills, and 7) program monitoring and evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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