Contraceptive introduction reconsidered: a new methodology for policy and program development

J Womens Health. 1999 Mar;8(2):163-73. doi: 10.1089/jwh.1999.8.163.


Although new contraceptive technology has the potential for providing women with expanded options for fertility control, the historical record of international family planning shows that, in practice, introduction of new methods has not always broadened reproductive choice. Using the example of introduction of intrauterine devices into the Indian family planning program in the 1960s, we show that an exclusive focus on the technology itself is problematic and argue that methodologies are needed that relate introduction of new methods to user needs and program capacities. We summarize key findings from the Indonesian experience with Norplant introduction. Although an effort was made to address problems with previous approaches, major deficiencies in both the technical and interpersonal dimensions of care arose when the implants were made broadly available within the program. We subsequently present a methodology for contraceptive introduction developed by the World Health Organization. This methodology emphasizes the social and institutional context in which technology is used and suggests a participatory and research-based approach to program and policy development. We illustrate results from this new approach in its implementation in Vietnam and suggest areas for further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / standards*
  • Contraception / trends
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / standards*
  • Developing Countries
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Intrauterine Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage
  • Levonorgestrel / standards*
  • Male
  • Policy Making*
  • Program Development*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Vietnam
  • World Health Organization


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel