Counseling, Informed Choice, and Informed Consent
Technical Publications and Resources
Checkpoints for Choice: An Orientation and Resource Package
Checkpoints for Choice: An Orientation and Resource Package offers practical guidance on how to enable stakeholders involved in FP programs to examine issues of full, free, and informed choice and to keep the needs and preferences of clients central to their operations. The package consists of a detailed plan with all support materials for a one-day workshop to enable FP program planners and managers to strengthen the focus of FP programs on clients’ human rights and contraceptive choices in the context of a rights-based program. Package content explains key concepts related to contraceptive choice, helps participants consider characteristics of contraceptive methods that matter to women, examines the full spectrum of challenges that affect whether they get what they want from FP programs, and highlights program strengths that should be continued and expanded. Checkpoints also identifies factors and warning signs that managers can track to assess whether full, free, and informed choice may be compromised and explores steps that can be taken to foster individual and program accountability for ensuring contraceptive choice within the FP program. In addition to the workshop guidance and materials, the package includes links to recommended references, tools, and additional reading.
Available for download in English (PDF, 1.2MB) and French (PDF, 2.4MB).
Also available: Checkpoints for Choice PowerPoint Slides for all sessions, in English (PPTX, 1.8MB) and French (PPTX, 1.8MB).
Counseling the Obstetric Fistula Client: A Training Curriculum
Counseling is an integral part of comprehensive fistula care services. The curriculum developed by Fistula Care guides nurses, midwives, and physicians to help their clients make informed and voluntary decisions about their care. The curriculum addresses counseling needs related to fistula prevention, treatment, and social reintegration. Service providers can also find information about how to engage with the client’s family and how to link the client to supportive organizations in the community.
(2012) Download as a PDF: English (2.5 MB), French (2.8 MB)
Counseling the Traumatic Fistula Client: A Supplement to the Obstetric Fistula Counseling Curriculum
Clients seeking care for traumatic fistula—fistula caused by sexual assault—need access to counseling that addresses the complex effects of their condition. This supplement developed by Fistula Care complements the counseling curriculum to address the physical, social, and psychological impacts specific to traumatic fistula. The supplement also provides information on how health care providers working with traumatic fistula clients can seek support for themselves.
(2012) Download as a PDF: English (3.2 MB), French (3.2 MB)
Counseling for Effective Use of Family Planning
Building on earlier EngenderHealth work in counseling, Counseling for Effective Use of Family Planning responds to an identified gap in existing materials and fills the needs expressed by those in the field. The intended audiences for this curriculum are health care providers, their supervisors, and the managers of the programs in which they work. The counseling skills addressed here are expected to be relevant to the provision of both preventive and curative health services through the workshop participants’ national health systems. Finally, the curriculum’s participatory approach to defining terms and to generating profiles of potential clients is designed to assist trainees in addressing the realities and exploring the reproductive health priorities of their communities in a culturally appropriate manner.
Download this publication: Trainer's Manual—Part I (387KB), Part II (743KB), Part III (754KB), Appendixes (30.8MB); Participant Handbook—Text Appendices (9.3MB). (9.3MB),
Informed Consent in Fistula Care
Informed consent is a critical component of quality fistula care services. This booklet developed by Fistula Care for service administrators, staff, and supervisors provides guidance on counseling patients before fistula surgery. Clients may find the provided information helpful in making an informed decision on care.
(2010) Download as a PDF: English (630KB), French (671KB)
Working with Married Youth: A Curriculum for Peer Educators
This participatory curriculum was designed to train peer educators to work in communities with married youth on issues of gender and reproductive health. The curriculum trains peer educators on ways to provide information, support, and services to young married men and women by understanding their reproductive health needs and the issues influencing their lives.
(2008) English IC-17
Available as a PDF: download (997KB)
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Youth Friendly Services for Married Youth: A Curriculum for Trainers
This manual seeks to enhance health care providers’ understanding of the reproductive health needs of young married men and women and enable providers to offer appropriate information, support, and services. It also encourages health care providers to reach out to community members and adults and help them create a supportive environment.
(2008) English IC-18
Available as a PDF: download (1.2MB)
Choices in Family Planning: Informed and Voluntary Decision Making
A tool kit of job aids intended to help policymakers, managers of health care programs, health care workers, and community leaders support individuals in making informed and voluntary decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
(2003) IC-15. Available for download: English.
Comprehensive Counseling for Reproductive Health: An Integrated Curriculum
A curriculum designed to put the concept of integrated reproductive health services into practice by helping all levels of service providers develop the communication and counseling skills needed to assess and address their clients' comprehensive sexual and reproductive health needs. The curriculum's unique approach helps providers consider and treat each client as a whole person with multiple needs, addressing an array of reproductive health issues in a single client-provider interaction, regardless of what health service the provider is working in or what services the client has requested. Includes activities designed to increase providers' comfort in discussing health care issues and behaviors relating to the sensitive topics of sexuality and reproduction, to sensitize providers to issues of gender and rights related to reproductive health, and to help trainees develop client profiles to tailor training to local situations.
(2003) English. Trainer's manual IC-16T. / Participant's handbook IC-16PH. Available for download, or for ordering in print.