PFI is a national non-government organisation at the forefront of policy advocacy and research on population, health and development issues in the country. It leads advocacy efforts and works as a think tank dedicated to promoting and advocating the effective formulation and implementation of gender sensitive population, health and development policies and programmes in the country.
The Foundation addresses population issues within the larger discourse of empowering women and men, so that they are able to take informed decisions related to their fertility, health and well-being. It works with the government, both at the national and state levels and with NGOs, in the areas of community action for health, urban health, scaling up of successful pilots and social and behaviour change communication.
Though women, adolescents and children are PFI’s primary target groups, it sees male involvement and engagement with community leaders and institutions as an integral component of its work. PFI’s long-term goal is to reposition family planning within the women’s empowerment and human rights framework in national development and MCH policies and programmes in India.
Population Foundation of India with donor support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Advocacy in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and at the national level
November 2012 – October 2017
Advance Family Planning (AFP) is an advocacy initiative comprising individual family planning champions, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and regional health and development networks. It aims to increase financial investment and political commitment to ensure access to high quality, voluntary family planning through evidence-based advocacy. The initiative aims to contribute to efforts related to india meeting its commitments made at the London Family Planning Summit in 2012.
Budget and expense tracking for family planning in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
Increase budget allocation and expenditure for family planning in the state Programme Implementation Plans (PIP)
Increase contraceptive choices
Address policy barriers to improve the family planning programme
Improve performance review mechanisms for family planning in the state
Population Foundation of India with donor support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The programme is being implemented in 357 villages of Bihar spread across 13 blocks in the five districts of Darbhanga, Nawada, Bhagalpur, Gaya and Patna.
August 2015 – July 2017
The Advocacy Communication and Accountability (ACA) initiative aims to contribute in “increasing the demand for and access to quality family planning services in the state of Bihar and at the national level”. The key strategies that are being used to advance towards this long term goal are:
1. Addressing social norms and influencing individual behaviours by providing access to information and increasing engagement on issues around sexual and reproductive health, and entitlements.
2. Increasing accountability through community action for health by building community capacities to monitor and provide feedback on services to health managers and policy makers; and using the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) as a technology platform, enabling easier collection, analysis and sharing of data.
3. Amplifying voices to ensure a facilitating/enabling policy environment through a strengthening of the Advocating Reproductive Choices (ARC) coalition both at the state and national levels.
1. Increased knowledge leading to a changed perception on key issues around family planning and reproductive health among women and men of reproductive age, especially adolescents and youth
2. Increased community participation enabled by technology in monitoring improved access to quality health services
3. Enhanced engagement on family planning and reproductive health among key influencers, policy makers, the media, civil society and champions
ARC is a coalition of more than 170 civil society organisations, development organisations and individuals that are committed to advocating for greater attention and focus on sexual and reproductive health issues and family planning services in India. It is dedicated to supporting the efforts of the Government of India to meet its commitments to the FP2020 goals that emerged at the Family Planning Summit in London in 2012.
ARC has State Chapters in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
To create an enabling environment for making a range of effective and safe methods of contraceptive options available to women and men, suitable to them individually and as a couple, during their different reproductive phases so as to improve maternal and child health.
Advocate for peoples’ sexual and reproductive health rights
Call attention to the quality of care in family planning services
Address the large unmet need for contraception
Expand contraceptive choices for the people in India
Make safe, effective, and quality contraceptives available to all at an affordable cost
Partner with policymakers, civil society, development partners and other key stakeholders to advocate for the above
ARC was established in 2005 with its first secretariat at the Parivar Seva Sansthan (PSS). In 2007, it moved to the Family Planning Association of India and is currently hosted by the Population Foundation of India, to where it moved in 2015.
Population Foundation of India with support from Capital for Good
December 2016 - June 2017 (7 months)
To sustain the momentum created by Seasons One and Two of PFI's edutainment initiative for social and behavioural change - Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon or I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything (MKBKSH) and lay the groundwork for Season Three
1. Increase awareness of youth in urban and rural areas on issues that affect them, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, mental health and age at marriage through a digital intervention.
2. Support an expansion of the edutainment efforts undertaken within the above series through consultations geared at developing a strategy for Season Three and beyond – with communication experts and organisations reaching out to the youth, and with the youth themselves.
3. Encourage other donors to be a part of the journey, financial or otherwise by showcasing the series in appropriate fora.
The National Health Mission (NHM) is a flagship programme of the Government of India that included community processes and creation of public platforms for intensive community engagement as a cornerstone of health system strengthening.
Community Action for Health (CAH) is one of the key strategies of the NHM, which places people at the centre of the process of ensuring that the health needs and rights of the community are being fulfilled. It allows communities to participate and regularly monitor the progress of the NHM schemes and interventions in their areas, thus contributing to the strengthening of health services and ‘Bringing Public into Public Health’.
A committee called the Advisory Group on Community Action (AGCA) was constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to provide guidance on community processes initiatives particularly related to accountability in 2005. The AGCA comprises eminent public health experts and the Population Foundation of India (PFI) hosts its Secretariat.
With support from the MoHFW, the AGCA guided the implementation of a pilot on CAH in 36 districts across nine states between 2007 and 2009. The implementation of CAH showed the following outcomes: greater awareness in the community on health entitlements; improvements in the coverage of health services; increased availability of medicines and laboratory services in health facilities; and reductions in outside prescriptions and demands for informal payments by the health providers.
Led by the MoHFW, Government of India, CAH is currently being implemented in around 2,02,162 villages in 353 districts across 22 states of India.A team based at the AGCA Secretariat now provides the following technical support to the states:
The AGCA is currently providing technical support to 25 state governments /union territories*. For more information, see www.nrhmcommunityaction.org
* Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Population Foundation of India has been working to harness the power of entertainment education to alter and transform deeply entrenched social behaviours and promote women empowerment, their health and well being.
PFI was involved with the first few TV soap operas in India – Hum Log (1984-85) and Hum Raahi (1992-93). It was also the lead agency in supporting a radio drama series, Dehleez, on youth sexuality in collaboration with the All India Radio.
More recently, PFI produced a short film Haule Haule.
The 52 episodes of Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon Season One, began telecast on Doordarshan National from March 8, 2014 on weekends, and reached approximately 58 million people as per data from the Television Audience Measurement (TAM) and other surveys. The serial was ranked between the third and fifth most popular programme in its time slot.
In May 2014, Doordarshan launched the serial on DD India, its international channel that telecasts to West Asia, Far East, Canada and Europe. In May 2014, All India Radio started broadcasting the episodes on over 94 primary channels/local radio stations, 24 FM stations and 37 Vividh Bharati stations across the country. in July 2014, the serial also began four times a week telecast on DD Kendra (Bihar).
Buoyed by the audience response to Season One, Season Two with 78 more episodes was launched on April 4, 2015. The serial is telecast every Saturday and Sunday at 7.30 pm on DD National.
The serial is based on extensive field research, and uses a positive deviance approach, which identifies positive behaviours of individuals within the community and amplifies them as though they are the norm for all to adopt.
Combating Gender-Based Violence amongst the Youth in India through Celebrity Centred Digital Media Edutainment Intervention
Population Foundation of India with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
October 2016 - March 2018
India's 356 million youth are vulnerable to gender-based violence (GBV) – either as perpetrators or as survivors. This initiative through its large scale digital presence will create a platform that will provide access to information on gender-based violence, particularly violence against women and girls (VAWG). It will inspire youth to participate on issues of violence against women leading to a pan India interaction. Over time, a repository of digital information will be developed that will serve as a resource on all forms of GBV.
The overall goal of the project is to positively influence the knowledge, attitude and perceptions of the youth on gender-based violence, particularly violence against women and girls, through sustained digital media interventions and engagement.
To change the knowledge, attitude and perception on gender-based violence – more specifically on violence against women and girls – particularly among the youth, through celebrity endorsed behaviour change communication interventions on digital platforms.
To evaluate the effectiveness of "celebrities" in triggering change, particularly with respect to deeply entrenched gendered perceptions and stereotypes
Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research
Over 90,000 people living on islands or chars/ saporis of the Brahmaputra river in five districts of Assam (Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Dhubri)
June 2013 – May 2016
To ensure improvement in family planning/reproductive and child health status of vulnerable populations
Increase awareness about reproductive health and family planning issues among eligible couples (women in the age group 15–49 years and their husbands)
Enable behavioural change through a need-based comprehensive communication package
Build sustainable capacities in interpersonal communication, including counselling skills, in delivering quality family planning services and in effective documentation
Improve availability of, and accessibility to, modern contraceptives by eligible couples, including services for IUD insertion, injectables and establishing effective linkages/referrals
Population Foundation of India with donor support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Advocacy at the national level
June 2014 – June 2017
To increase funding and support to improve policies and expand quality family planning services, including birth spacing methods, using a human rights approach and a women’s empowerment framework
To improve the knowledge of key influencers and decision makers on family planning in India and highlighting the urgency to increase the availability of quality family planning services with an expanded basket of contraceptive choices in the country
Parliamentarians, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and related departments, the media, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Advocating Reproductive Choices (ARC), a coalition advocating enhanced accessibility and expansion of contraceptive choices, is engaged in increasing knowledge and dialogues on issues around family planning in the framework of human rights and women’s empowerment. PFI currently holds the National Secretariat of the ARC coalition www.arccoalition.org and intends to dialogue with the above stakeholders to ensure the realisation of India’s FP2020 commitments.
Initiated in 2005, ARC is a coalition of like-minded civil society organisations working in the field of sexual and reproductive health. Its advocacy initiatives primarily address issues related to unmet needs for contraception. ARC aims to expand contraceptive choice for the Indian population by widely promoting and making available safe and affordable, effective and high quality contraceptives in the public and private health service delivery system. The coalition also aims to reposition family planning at the national level in the context of maternal health outcomes. The four major thrust areas for ARC are: Injectables, Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices, Emergency Contraception and Non-Scalpel Vasectomy. ARC explicitly supports the Indian Government’s focus and commitment to FP2020 to expand contraceptive choices to 48 million new users and support 100 million current users.