People, Not Numbers, Count the Most

Family planning programs and policies should focus on improving the health and lives of people around the world, not numerical demographic targets, write the Population Council’s Anrudh K. Jain and Saumya RamaRao in RH Reality Check.

The heavy focus on reaching quantitative goals, such as the pledge made by governments in 2012 to help 120 million more women and girls obtain contraceptives by 2020 (led by the FP2020 partnership) should not take precedence over the needs and desires of women.

While campaigns built around numerical targets can be strong motivators, new indicators—like client-provider interaction, content of information provided to clients, voluntary use of contraception, and informed choice—are needed.

RH Reality Check

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