What works in family planning interventions: a systematic review

Stud Fam Plann. 2011 Jun;42(2):67-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2011.00267.x.


This study presents findings from a systematic review of evaluations of family planning interventions published between 1995 and 2008. Studies that used an experimental or quasi-experimental design or used another approach to attribute program exposure to observed changes in fertility or family planning outcomes at the individual or population levels were included and ranked by strength of evidence. A total of 63 studies met the inclusion criteria. The findings from this review are summarized in tabular format by the type of intervention (classified as supply-side or demand-side). About two-thirds of the studies found were evaluations of programs focusing on demand generation. Findings from all programs revealed significant improvements in knowledge, attitudes, discussion, and intentions. Program impacts on use of contraceptives and use of family planning services were less consistently found, and fewer than half of the studies that measured fertility or pregnancy-related outcomes found an impact. Based on the review findings, we identify promising programmatic approaches and propose directions for future evaluation research of family planning interventions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Mass Media
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Sex Education / organization & administration