Evidence of FP policies implemented, resources allocated and subsequently used in relation to the same FP policy
Family planning (FP) policies are the laws, regulations, guidelines, and strategies related to the management and/or delivery of FP goods and services. Policy implementation may require the creation of an implementation plan, guidelines for providing a service, and a budget or a budget line item to finance implementation. Evidence must include documentation that a budget line item was created to ensure that the policy is implemented in the manner that was intended by policymakers and that the resources (e.g. financial, human, material) are used to accomplish the policy objective(s).
Verification of the FP policy, implementation plan, accompanying budget, and implementation of policy.
Directive, resolution; tool to measure policy implementation; meeting minutes providing evidence of dialogue among national and subnational governments on new guidelines; evidence of activity plans or reports that show the policy is being used; budgets, line items, invoices, other evidence of allocations and expenditures.
Data will be gathered from document reviews and key informant interviews.
This indicator measures the extent of policymakers’ support for FP and the completeness of the implementation process. Policies are often created with vague wording and lack of accompanying planning or budget support. Successful implementation depends on commitment of resources and guidelines that detail the implementation specifics necessary for genuine change. It is important to note however, that some adaptation of a policy for the local context is expected, and even necessary to ensure that the spirit of the law translates into various settings. In addition, if funding is not in place and protected from re-allocation, the best policy implementation plan will not be executed.
Each step in this indicator is progressively more difficult to track and the documentation burden to show that money was actually used for its intended purpose may be high. A method of assessing policy implementation may be useful in tracking progress against this indicator, and it may be necessary to set implementation standards prior to the implementation process in order to
determine if the process is successful. Also, 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 reproductive health
policy, family planning
A gender perspective examining an FP policy’s content and implementation strategy might ask:
- Do the strategies explicitly account for gender-specific ways for women and men to access the FP services they need?
- Does the strategy exclude all elements of coercion or any such elements that act to disempower individual men or women (e.g. policies that give husbands control over the reproductive health of women)?
Bhuyan, A., A. Jorgensen, and S. Sharma. 2010. Taking the Pulse of Policy: The Policy Implementation
Assessment Tool. Washington, DC: Futures Group, Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1.