Contracting to Provide Family Planning Services: Frequently Asked Questions

This online reference is designed using a frequently asked questions format. It is written from the perspective of service delivery organizations (SDOs) providing family planning services and targets contracting personnel. Its purpose is to provide an overview of essential contracting concepts and phases and to highlight critical aspects of setting up or managing contracts, which are often fraught with challenges.

Purpose of these frequently asked questions:

  • Promote knowledge on contracting and insurance within the health sector, with a focus on family planning services.
  • Provide an “at a glance” quick reference of frequently asked questions for SDO personnel involved in contracting-out family planning services.
  • Provide examples of practical information and global best practice to support successful start-up and implementation of contracts by SDOs.
  • List references for relevant tools and reports on topics concerning contracting.

Most existing material on the topic of contracting for family planning services targets the policymaking and purchasing audience, in particular governments and donors. This reference complements an existing primer (Liu et al., 2006), which guides organizations on how to contract for their services in family planning. These frequently asked questions draw from experience of a leading provider of family planning services, Marie Stopes International, and cover key components of contracting, including how to prepare for, negotiate, and execute family planning service contracts. Many of the concepts covered here are relevant to contracting for health care services in general. As much as possible, concepts are illustrated using family planning-specific examples.
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Who are these frequently asked questions intended for?

These frequently asked questions target contracting personnel representing networks of SDOs, often at a country or regional level. Such individuals are charged with entering into and/or managing contracts with purchasers of family planning services. These questions are intended to introduce the essential steps and concepts needed to evaluate, execute, and manage contracts for family planning services. 



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