Revisiting community-based distribution programs: are they still needed?

Contraception. 2005 Dec;72(6):402-7. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2005.06.059. Epub 2005 Aug 22.


Community-based distribution (CBD) programs are the optimum way of reaching people in rural areas of developing countries where conventional methods of delivery do not exist or fail. This paper reviews findings and experiences from over 30 years of efforts to implement CBD of family planning methods around the world. Although research suggests that community-based service delivery can contribute to contraceptive use, the magnitude of impact is often in doubt or its existence is questionable when compared to alternative family planning delivery services. After the review of more than 30 years of CBD work, we found that these programs are still needed to meet the needs for contraception in rural communities and isolated city neighborhoods in developing countries. Integration with other health outreach programs, effective management, keeping training of agents brief and letting them distribute contraceptives and keeping all or part of the profits instead of paying them salaries are some of the strategies that can make CBD programs more efficient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraception
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Family Planning Services / trends*
  • Health Services Accessibility