TCIHC’s Male Engagement Strategy for Family Planning Works by Putting Government in the Driver’s Seat

May 6, 2021

Contributors: Samarendra Behera, Vivek Dwivedi, Mukesh Sharma, Vivek Malviya, Mange Ram, Anil Dwivedi, Pranaw Kumar Jha, Devika Varghese, Deepti Mathur 

Most male engagement strategies in India focus on men as partners who were encouraged to support their female partners to use contraception. This strategy ignores men as contraceptive users in their own right, relegating men to a supportive role instead of a lead role in protecting their partners from unintended and unplanned pregnancies.

Although initiatives focused on men as contraceptive users are scant, the Urban Health Initiative and Expanded Access and Quality were two such projects implemented in Uttar Pradesh (UP) that demonstrated the effectiveness of targeting men as contraceptive users, specifically for non-scalpel vasectomy (NSV). Unfortunately, these initiatives were small scale and short-term in nature, ending in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

As a result, The Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities (TCIHC) identified this as a promising approach that could be scaled up if owned and led by the government, which was a key piece missing in the two previous projects. In an effort to share broadly the guidance and the lessons learned on how to implement this approach with family planning professionals globally, Knowledge SUCCESS showcased TCIHC’s approach in its new “What Works in Family Planning and Reproductive Health” series.