Breakthrough RESEARCH is evaluating two approaches to couples counseling to assess their benefits and feasibility and to determine which elements of each are best suited for roll-out on a broader scale. The two counseling models—group-based and home-based couples counseling, both delivered by community health workers—will be implemented in separate townships (cantons) in Togo’s Kloto district. In this district, USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program has designed several male engagement and couples counseling programs that must be evaluated before a common counseling framework is put in place.

Research has long shown that gender norms affect couples’ family planning decisions and that men’s engagement is critical for effective reproductive health programs. Couples counseling can improve a range of sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including family planning use, partner support for family planning, knowledge about fertility and family planning, and male participation in counseling and services.