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Popul Bull UN. 1993;(34-35):79-101.

Expert Group Meeting on Family Planning, Health and Family Well-Being.

[No authors listed]



As part of the preparations for the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development, an expert group meeting on family planning (FP), health, and family well-being was held in India on October 26-30, 1992. The group focused on the following issues: 1) society and FP, a review of existing FP programs, and the implementation of FP programs (including quality of services and human resources development, unreached populations, adolescent fertility, diffusion of innovative activities, community-based distribution systems and social marketing, and future contraceptive requirements and logistics management needs); 2) FP and health (including safe motherhood and child survival, the interdependence of services, sexually transmitted diseases [STDs], and AIDS); 3) FP and family well-being (including family size, family structure, child development, fertility decline, and family support systems); and 4) the involvement of people in FP programs (community participation, cost of supplies and service, contraceptive research and development, and a reexamination of the roles of various agencies). Both developed and developing countries were considered, with an emphasis on the latter. After reviewing the progress made in implementing the World Population Plan of Action adopted in Bucharest in 1974, the expert group drafted 35 recommendations to governments, donors, and other agencies. Governments are asked to support FP programs as a cost-effective component of a development strategy, to provide opportunities for women to participate in public policy processes, to support the family through public policies and programs, to increase investments in FP and reproductive and maternal and child health, to increase support to the health and education sectors to achieve basic human rights, to provide safe access to counseling and abortion services, and to include STD/HIV education and prevention in the work of FP programs. FP programs should receive support and funding and should involve nongovernment groups in advocacy efforts. They should help individuals achieve their reproductive goals in a voluntary, informed manner. Governments should attempt to set up programs to meet unmet needs and programs should be evaluated periodically. FP programs should respond to community needs and incorporate the user's perspective in the broadest range of services possible. The special needs of adolescents should be served through special confidential programs. Social marketing of contraception should be encouraged to create demand. The involvement and responsibility of men should be encouraged. Information, education, and communication activities should be supported, and population and family life education should be extended and strengthened in formal settings. Nongovernmental organizations should receive support from governments and the international community and should coordinate activities at these levels. Barriers to private sector involvement in FP should be removed, and public/private partnerships should be encouraged. Forecasting of contraceptive requirements should be improved, and the role of the commercial sector in meeting needs should be strengthened. Funding for programs should be increased, and costs should be made as effective as possible. Technical and social service research should receive funding. Utilization of data for program planning should be given higher priority.

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