Foreword From the United States Agency for International Development
Access to voluntary family planning and reproductive health information and services advances and supports the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals and can have positive economic, environmental, and social benefits for families and communities.
This Global Handbook provides updated, accurate, and practical guidance to support program managers and providers in delivering high-quality family planning counseling, services, and care. Prior editions were widely used to support strong programs: over 500,000 copies have been distributed through USAID to governments and their partners. We anticipate this 2022 edition will continue to help family planning providers across the globe to deliver client-centered counseling and services.
Since the 2018 edition, two new chapters have been developed to reflect the current evidence base for family planning and to incorporate the WHO Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions, the WHO Recommendations on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and also lessons learned about service delivery during an epidemic. The Handbook now provides guidance on family planning for women and girls in high HIV burden settings, aligning with the lessons from The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Trial and the subsequent 2019 update of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance and recommendations on contraceptive eligibility for women at high risk of HIV. New content also focuses on contraceptive service delivery considerations for frontline providers in the context of epidemics and other emergencies, which was adapted from WHO guidance for humanitarian settings and learnings from the Ebola and Zika epidemics and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The information gathered in this updated Handbook confirms that almost any family planning method can be used safely by all women, and that providing most methods is typically not complicated. Indeed, most methods can be provided even where resources are limited.
This Handbook provides basic information that providers can use to assist individuals and couples to choose, use, and change family planning methods as they move through their lives. As always, program managers and providers play a central role in supporting clients to make voluntary and informed choices from a range of safe and available methods. The client–provider relationship, grounded in evidence-based and skillful counseling, can help inform the client’s understanding of the benefits of family planning in general and of the chosen method in particular, including self-care practices such as self-injection, condom use, and exclusive breastfeeding. New clients may have a family planning method already in mind, but they may not be aware of other options; continuing clients may have concerns about their current method, and knowledgeable counseling can help improve their satisfaction with that method or help them to switch methods effectively. With the information in this Handbook and the right resources, providers can ensure that a client’s reproductive intentions, life situation, and preferences govern their voluntary family planning decisions.
This update was developed in collaboration with WHO and experts from many other organizations. USAID is proud to support its development and publication. We look forward to continuing the work with our many partners to empower individuals and couples, inclusive of all identities and abilities, to plan their families and their futures.
Ellen H. Starbird
Director, Office of Population and Reproductive Health
Bureau for Global Health
United States Agency for International Development