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August 6, 2014

Users’ Guide for Framework on Voluntary Family Planning Programs that Respect, Protect, and Fulfill Human Rights

The international reproductive health community’s focus on human rights and family planning continues with the need to operationalize rights in family planning programs. Healthy dialogue about integrating human rights into such programming must continue if the rights and dignity of individuals are to be at the center of family planning work. The Voluntary Family Planning Programs that Respect, Protect, and Fulfill Human Rights: A Conceptual Framework, published in 2013, and also most recently published in Studies in Family Planning, provides a pathway for designing, implementing and monitoring voluntary family planning programs that respect, protect, and fulfill human rights as they set out to improve health and achieve ambitious FP2020 goals. The Framework has taken long-standing family planning concepts, such as quality of care and voluntarism, and linked them with human rights principles, such as accountability and nondiscrimination.

Since its launch in August 2013, the Framework has been reviewed by more than 200 global and country stakeholders. It has been well-received in a variety of settings, including in consultations in the United States, at a technical consultation at the World Health Organization, and most recently during country consultations in India and Kenya. During these consultations, stakeholders consistently advocated for a tool to help guide the application of the framework in practice.

Taking the Framework one step further—from theory to practice—Futures Group and EngenderHealth, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have developed a practical Users’ Guide to accompany the conceptual framework. This Guide was designed to:

  • Help facilitators orient stakeholders on the voluntary, rights-based family planning conceptual framework
  • Assist them with its application during assessments and action planning related to strengthening human rights in family planning programs
  • Use it to monitor, evaluate, and hold programs accountable

While the Users’ Guide was heavily influenced by country consultations in Kenya and India, it is a beta version, as not all of its modules have been field-tested for usability or impact. The authors welcome feedback regarding the use and implementation of the Users’ Guide.  

Visit Champions4Choice to join the conversation about contraceptive choice and rights, and read more about The Road to Implementation: A User’s Guide to Applying a Rights-Based Approach to Family Planning Programs.

Also new: Voluntary Family Planning Programs that Respect, Protect and Fulfill Human Rights: A Conceptual Framework is now available in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Hindi.

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