Family Planning Advocacy Guide
January 4, 2018
Family Planning Advocacy through Religious Leaders: A Guide for Faith Communities
This easy-to-use how-to guide helps faith-based organizations to equip and encourage religious leaders to advocate for family planning with their governments, the media and their own congregations and communities. It was inspired by work with religious leaders carried out by CCIH, the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) and the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN). It was funded in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The guide’s workbook style presents users with a step-by-step process for training religious leaders and launching advocacy efforts through checklists and interactive prompts.
The guide is available in English and French.
Promotion de la planification familiale par l’intermédiaire de chefs religieux: Un Guide pour les communautés confessionnelles
Ce guide a été inspiré par le travail de Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) (Connexions chrétiennes pour la santé internationelle), Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) (l’Association chrétienne de la santé du Kenya), Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) (Association d’églises en santé au Zambie), et Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) (le Réseau pharmaceutique œcuménique) pour préparer les chefs religieux à promouvoir les services de planification familiale. Il a été financé en partenariat avec le Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates). Télécharger ici
Resources to Accompany the Guide
The resources below accompany the guide and are arranged by where they are referenced in the workbook.
Landscape Assessment: What Do You Need to Know?
Baseline Family Planning Provision Assessment Survey Template | This survey has been used in FBO-run health facilities in over 10 different African countries, and helped the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) determine where to launch their religious leader family planning advocacy efforts.
Sample Questionnaire on Family Planning Beliefs Among Religious Leaders | The Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) asked religious leaders fill out this questionnaire to understand their denominations’ beliefs on family planning. Based on these responses, multiple Zambian Christian denominations were able to articulate clear, official stances on family planning. This process took approximately two months to complete. The list of finalized statements of faith can be found here: Zambian Church Positions on FP
Trainings & Advocacy: How Do Religious Leaders Become FP Advocates?
Family Planning Method Resources:
Kiswahili: Guide to Family Planning for Health Workers and their Clients: This slideshow was adapted from a World Health Organization document for the needs of the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), with assistance from the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH).
What is Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies and Why Should I Need to Know? This slideshow was adapted from a World Health Organization document for the needs of the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB), with assistance from the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH).
Messages for Religious Leaders and Religious Leader Statements
Family Planning Messages for Religious Leaders was developed in cooperation with the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) and the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN). It provides scriptural support for family planning and explains the health, economic and societal benefits of FP.
Scriptural Support for Planning Safe and Healthy Pregnancies This easy-to-use two-page brief on scriptural support for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies includes a number of bible verses supporting the use of family planning to protect the health of mothers and children and achieve the family size parents decide is best for their circumstances. Scripture comes from the Books of Genesis, Solomon, Galatians, Hebrews, John and 1 Timothy.
Religious Leader Statement of Commitment to Family Planning | Twenty Religious Leaders signed this joint statement expressing their support for family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies at the Annual General Meeting of the Christian Health Association of Kenya in April, 2018. The leaders are from a variety of Christian denominations, but all share the common belief that the health of mothers and children is vital, and the ability to plan, time and space pregnancies saves lives and improves family and community health and well-being. See the religious leaders expressing support for family planning and reviewing advocacy accomplishments at the meeting.
Advocacy Activities Targeting Government Officials & Other Decisionmakers
Letter to Plateau State Commissioner (Nigeria) The Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) collaborated with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) to co-write a letter to the Plateau State Commissioner in Nigeria in support of family planning. The Plateau State churches of ECWA, the Baptist Church, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Assemblies of God co-endorsed this letter advocating for Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) to be included in:
- The supply chain of family planning and reproductive health commodities and programs
- Support supervision and feedback at the health facility level
- Government budget allocations for training more health workers and religious leaders, especially on family planning services
Advocacy Activities Targeting Community Members
Visit CCIH’s Stories and Interviews section to see videos and stories from the perspectives of faith-based family planning providers and advocates.
For a bible study to lead small groups of Christians through discussions on the intersection between their faith and family planning, see the Love, Children and Family Planning Bible Study developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University and CCIH.
Monitoring & Evaluation: Is This Working?
Sample M&E Materials
See resources under “Landscape Assessment” section, including examples of pre-test/post-test surveys for trainings: