Managing Integrated Services


Family planning managers are frequently being asked to add or integrate family planning services into maternal and child health (MCH), nutrition, women's reproductive health, adult literacy, and other health and development activities. Consequently, managers are asking questions about exactly when, where, and how family planning services can be integrated with these other activities. These questions are often answered on the basis of personal beliefs, rather than on a rigorous framework for assessing the specific changes needed to deliver integrated services effectively.

Many experts believe that integrating different types of health services in one program results in serving the needs of the client better and make services more cost-effective. Other experts caution that integrating family planning into other services can cause a loss of focus on family planning and dilute the resources available for family planning programs.

This issue of The Family Planning Manager explores the different faces of integration and examines the key management systems that may need to be adapted to effectively deliver services in an integrated setting. The issue also provides guidelines for assessing integration at several different organizational levels, and offers some practical advice on how to make integration work better in your program.