Extent to which LAPMs are explicitly included in national RH or FP policies
In countries with formal reproductive health (RH) or family planning (FP) policies, this indicator assesses whether long-acting and permanent methods (LAPMs) are specifically included in these documents. In addition, these policies should be evaluated to make sure they are technically sound, based on scientific evidence and grounded in informed choice. The assessment should include the extent to which the national FP policy has a strategic or long-range plan in place to increase access to and use of LAPMs. To measure changes over time, the indicator should consider only those policies developed or modified during a specific reference period, such as the last calendar year.
Document review or policy analysis for evidence of that LAPMs are included in a country’s FP or health policy documents.
A country’s FP, reproductive health, or health policy documents. Supporting documentation should include the policy/plan/guideline itself, it’s status, i.e., draft or final, where or by whom it was issued or published, and an explanation of how the policy/plan/ guideline promotes access to or quality of RH services.
A country that specifically includes LAPMs in its formal policies is more likely to have an enabling environment supportive of contraceptive choice. The inclusion of LAPMs in formal policy statements reflects a country’s recognition of and commitment to effective FP options.
Evaluators may face difficulty finding an “FP policy” since many countries do not have an explicit policy related to FP but rather encompass FP within a broader RH policy. Furthermore, formal policy statements do not necessarily translate into policy implementation. Other policy challenges, such as insufficient budget allocations or unfavorable import regulations, may circumvent formal policy statements. Conversely, LAPMs may be available through government and private facilities even if not explicitly included in policy documents. In-depth policy analysis should assess all these issues.
policy, long-acting/permanent methods (LAPM), family planning
Policies that exclude particular LAPMs may limit the contraceptive choice of women or men.